The failed trick NASA lawyers had planned to use at the Supreme Court
The strategy was defeated after Maraga's team kicked NASA out of the election petition.
The details were unveiled on Tuesday while President Uhuru Kenyatta’s lawyer, Fred Ngatia, filed a successful application seeking to strike out NASA from the petition.
Ngatia told the court that the petition filed by activists Njonjo Mue and Khelef Khalifa had been used as a disguise to allow the NASA coalition to participate in the fresh petition and make arguments that would not be rebutted.
The two activists who filed the petition have close ties to the NASA coalition. Khalifa is a member of the ODM party while their two lawyers have an association with the Opposition.
The petitioners’ lead lawyer, Harun Ndubi attended the press conference where NASA leader Raila Odinga withdrew his candidature while the his colleague, Julie Soweto, is a former associate at Siaya Senator James Orengo’s law firm.
In a rare legal strategy, the petitioners had sued the IEBC, Chairman Wafula Chebukati, President Uhuru Kenyatta, and the NASA coalition as the fourth respondent.
The petitioners’ inclusion of NASA as a respondent was the work of a brilliant legal strategy that would have seen them make arguments and responses that would have supported the petition without giving any of the three other parties to file their responses.
“They are one and the same, we cannot have a party flip-flopping themselves as petitioners while having another party as respondents. It makes it difficult for us, we cannot answer to the petitioners and at the same time answer to claims raised by NASA in their responses,” Ngatia complained.
Kenyatta’s lawyer further argued that if NASA was interested in challenging the petition, they ought to have filed their own petition instead of making their case behind proxies.
In their response, NASA had introduced new evidence including video record and internal documents from the IEBC. They had also claimed that their supporters were intimidated and harassed prompting their candidate’s withdraw.
“Things that could not be said by the petitioner are now in the response filed by NASA. What they say, we cannot be able to respond to,” Ngatia pleaded.
The Supreme Court ruled in Kenyatta’s favour and struck out NASA as a respondent in the election petition.
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