By Judith Gicobi
This week’s Supreme Court hearings to consider the nine petitions contesting the presidential elections are anticipated to be a big confrontation at the Milimani Law Courts.
The petitions came up as a result of Wafula Chebukati, the chairman of the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC), declaring William Ruto the victor of the presidential election against Raila Odinga of Azimio-One Kenya.
Tomorrow will see a pre-trial discussion with the seven Supreme Court justices, following which the actual trial will begin. After that, a decision must be made by September 5th.
Following multiple responses from the respondents, which include the seven IEBC commissioners, IEBC as a body corporate, president-elect Ruto, and other parties, the nine petitioners had till yesterday to file and serve any rebuttal to their petitions.
Prior to the hearing by the bench on Wednesday, which will be presided over by Chief Justice Martha Koome, who is also the president of the Supreme Court, petitioners and respondents are anticipated to submit and serve their introductory applications today.
The Law Society of Kenya has already submitted a request to be added as an amicus curiae to the nine presidential petitions.
John Njoroge Kamau, four activists led by Khelef Khalif, the lobbying organization Youth Advocacy Africa (which has filed alongside a man named Peter Kirika), Raila Odinga of the Azimio-One party vying for president of Kenya, and Martha Karua are the petitioners in these lawsuits.
David Kariuki Ngari, a voter, Okiya Omtatah, an activist, and Juliah Nyokabi Chege—who filed the petitions with two other people—are among the other people who have pettitoned against the IEBC.