Why Supreme Court changed venue of hearing Raila's presidential election petition

Preparations for receipt of election petitions were supervised by Supreme Court judge Justice Isaac Lenaola.

Chief Justice Martha Koome delivering judgement at the Supreme Court

The Supreme Court of Kenya has departed from its tradition of hearing the presidential election petition from the Supreme Court building in Nairobi CBD.

The Supreme Court Building was used to hear and determine the presidential election petition in 2013 and 2017.

According to a report by Citizen TV, and KTN, Supreme Court judges will be hearing this year's presidential election petition at a special venue at the Milimani Law courts in Upperhill.

Preparations for receipt of election petitions were supervised by Supreme Court judge Justice Isaac Lenaola.

Usually the Supreme Court sits in Nairobi CBD but this year they saw it fit to set up the court at the Milimani Law Courts. It is likely due to the space and the pandemic is still with us,” Citizen TV's Dzuya Walter said.

The Judiciary has already stationed staff at the Milimani Law Courts to handle the work expected to start streaming in as election losers prepare their legal teams.

At the venue, there is a tent set aside for lawyers and journalists who will be covering the case.

The Supreme Court Judges will be seated inside another room within the Milimani Law Courts building.

Azimo la Umoja presidential candidate has already announced that he will be moving to the Supreme Court to challenge the declaration of William Ruto as the president-elect, by IEBC chair Wafula Chebukati.

In readiness to receive an election petition, the Judiciary has shared a document, elaborating the process of disputing the presidential election results.

Odinga will have to file his petition challenging the results, within seven days from the date of the announcement of the winner.

After being served, the Ruto will have four days to file a response to the petition and the Raila will be given 24 hours to file a rejoinder.

A rejoinder may include a response to the new facts raised by the winner in their submissions.

Both parties will be given two days to ask the judges to make specific orders to help their cases, by commanding something to be done or prohibiting it.

This will be followed by applications by third parties to be enjoined as friends of the court (amicus curiae), which is expected to take one day.

The Supreme Court will then be required to convene a pre-trial conference within 8 days from the filing of the petition.

A pre-trial conference provides an informal setting for all parties and the Judge 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.

The judges will then be 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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