Supreme Court rejects Ruto's prayers in presidential election petition

The petition will be heard for a record three days and a decision will be delivered by Monday, September 5 at the latest.

President-elect William Ruto

The Supreme Court has rejected President-elect William Ruto's prayers to prevent six members of the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission from participating in the presidential election petition challenging his win.

Ruto, through his lawyers, argued that IEBC chair Wafula Chebukati is the only person from the commission who should be allowed to represent the team in the case.

He argued that other commissioners (Abdi Guliye, Boya Molu, Juliana Cherera, Francis Wanderi, Irene Masit and Justus Nyang'aya) were wrongly listed as respondents by Raila Odinga in his petition.

He claimed that some of the commissioners were acting as Azimio la Umoja One Kenya alliance’s proxies in the case and should be listed as petitioners instead of being clustered as respondents.

In the true sense, Mr Molu, Prof Guliye, Ms Cherera, and Mr Nyang’aya are second tier petitioners so enjoined to enable the petitioners to have another set of petitioners albeit classified as respondents,” lawyer Kithure Kindiki told the court.

They intend to use their response to advance accusations, new claims and innuendoes solely intended to prejudice Dr Ruto,” added Ruto’s lawyer in his affidavit.

According to the president-elect’s legal team, Article 140 of the constitution doesn't allow petitioners to include individual commissioners in the case.

Ruto’s Deputy Chief agent Josphat Nanok also said in his affidavit that, "Accordingly, the four commissioners are in true sense petitioners and proxies of the Petitioners ingeniously included to be part of the Respondents so as to compromise Dr Ruto’s defence."

The Supreme Court has scheduled a pretrial conference for Tuesday, August 30, 2022, at 11 am.

The Supreme Court is required to convene a pre-trial conference within 8 days from the filing of a presidential election petition.

It provides an informal setting for all parties and the judges to identify the facts that are agreed upon or are in dispute, clarify the issues between the parties, and attempt to resolve them by way of a voluntary agreement.

During the pre-trial conference, the Supreme Court shall

a) Frame contested and uncontested Issues in the petition

b) Consider consolidation of petitions in cases where more than one petition is filed

c) Determine the no. of advocates that the Court shall hear on behalf of each party

The Supreme Court is then required to hear the election dispute petition immediately after the pre-trial conference and proceed to deliver a judgement within 14 days of the filing of the petition.

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