The High Court in Nakuru has given the National Super Alliance (Nasa) five days to respond to a petition by twelve people seeking to block removal from office of some of the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission staff.
Justice Roselyn Korir allowed the opposition parties, the Orange Democratic Movement (ODM), Wiper, Ford Kenya and Amani National Congress, more time to file their responses before the matter is heard in court.
“This is a matter of national interest and the parties need to be given time to file their own responses before the matter proceeds for hearing,” said Justice Korir.
The petitioners, who are residents of Nakuru, through lawyer Mungai Kibe, filed the case under certificate of urgency before the court last Wednesday.
They are seeking orders to restrain the Opposition leaders led by Nasa Presidential flag bearer Raila Odinga from interfering with the operations of the electoral body as they plan ahead of the repeat Presidential poll scheduled for October 26.
In the case, the Orange Democratic Movement, Wiper Party, Ford Kenya, Amani National Congress, IEBC and its chairman Wafula Wabukati, the Registrar of Political Parties and the Attorney General have been listed as respondents.
The residents further want IEBC chairman Mr Chebukati restrained from forming a special projects team to conduct the polls.
The court however, heard that only the IEBC chairman, the Registrar of Political Parties and the Attorney-General had filed responses to the petition.
Mr Chebukati in his submissions opposed the petitioner’s prayers which sought to have him restrained from forming the new special projects team to oversee the repeat election.
They have accused Nasa of conspiring with the commission chairman to jeopardize the elections through establishment of the special project team which they argue is unconstitutional.
The petitioners have claimed that the Nasa leaders want to force the IEBC commissioners out of office through political campaigns and intimidation.
They want the court to declare demands outlined by Nasa through a document dated September 12, dubbed the ‘Irreducible Minimums’ before the fresh elections, null and void.
The twelve have accused the opposition leaders of conspiring with the commission chairman to jeopardise the election through the formation of the special project team which according to them is illegal.
In his response Mr Chebukati claimed to be acting within the law to put the commission in order as it prepares to conduct the fresh polls.
The petitioners led by Mr Frank Muhoro requested the court to give the matter utmost priority since the events surrounding their prayers keep on changing every day.
The case will be heard on October 3.
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