Battle of wits awaits top lawyers in poll petition

A battle of wits awaits the country’s top lawyers at the Supreme Court during the hearing of the Presidential petition.

Both Jubilee and NASA are expected to send the creme de la creme of their lawyers to what could rekindle memories of the 2013 legal showdown at the apex court.

This will be the second Presidential petition to be brought under the new Constitution before the Supreme Court. The first one was heard by former Chief Justice Willy Mutunga, who led the Bench and it endorsed Uhuru’s win after finding the election was free and fair.

NASA was expected to file its petition at the Supreme Court before close of business on Friday. Two days after filing of the case, Jubilee and the IEBC will have to put in their response and counter-arguments.

The case will be heard and determined by the seven-judge Supreme Court Bench led by Chief Justice David Maraga within the 14 days window provided by law. The other judges on the Bench are Deputy Chief Justice Philomena Mwilu, justices Mohammed Ibrahim, Jacktone Boma Ojwang, Smokin Wanjala, Njoki Ndungu and Isaac Lenaola.

The Star established that Jubilee has started assembling its team of lawyers at a building along Valley Road, where they are combing through the election results in anticipation of the NASA petition.

The Jubilee side might have notable names like Fred Ngatia (who participated in the 2013 Presidential petition), Ahmednasir Abdullahi and Katwa Kigen (who represented journalist Joshua Sang at the ICC).

Ngatia only recently represented Jubilee Party in a case that challenged the award of the tender for the Presidential ballot papers to Dubai-based firm Al Ghurair.

NASA might also retain its 2013 lead counsel George Oraro, together with James Orengo. Also on board are lawyers Paul Mwangi and Willis Otieno. Orengo and Mwangi were also part of the team that challenged the Al Ghurair tender award.

IEBC will be represented by top lawyers Kamau Karori, PLO Lumumba and Paul Nyamodi, as they battle in court to defend the results declared last Friday.

Jubilee has decided to retain most of its 2013 legal team to benefit from the wealth of experience earned during the preceding Presidential petition.

In their capacities as representatives of the parties involved in the dispute, lawyers are the people charged with the task of advancing the causes of their clients.

Though the lead counsel will be charged with actual courtroom engagement, they are not on their own. They are backed by teams of lawyers involved in research, compiling relevant authorities from the Commonwealth countries and coming up with arguments to counter the opposition’s case.

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