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Maraga’s leaves his deputy with Critical Mandate on petition against Uhuru

Chief Justice David Maraga has entrusted his deputy, Justice Philomena Mwilu, with a new duty in Presidential petition filed against President Uhuru Kenyatta.

The embattled Deputy Chief Justice-who was troubled by her bodyguard’s shooting to the extend of absconding a previous court session- has been tasked with the duty of constituting a bench to hear a petition lodged at the Supreme Court challenging the electoral commission’s decision to proceed to conduct a presidential election on October 26 without conducting fresh nominations.

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Maraga’s directions on the petition filed by activist Okiya Omtatah prior to the declaration of last month’s fresh poll results were issued on Friday by Deputy Supreme Court Registrar Daniel Ole Keiwua when parties to the matter filed their affidavits.

Omtatah filed the petition on grounds that the electoral commission had overlooked the 2013 presidential election petition ruling which envisaged a situation where the only contenders in a repeat are two candidates.

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Following Odinga’s withdrawal from the October 26th election, Omtatah argues that the elections board should have exited the scheduled election under Article 140 (3) of the Constitution and moved on to prepare for an election under Article 138 (8) (b) of the Constitution.

“The 26th October 2017 presidential elections held pursuant to Article 140(3) of the Constitution after the withdrawal of the NASA presidential and deputy presidential candidates is invalid, null and void ab initio,” Omtatah pleads in part of his three-point prayers before the court.

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“The IEBC ought to have organized to hold fresh elections within sixty days of the 10th of October 2017, being on or before the 10th of December 2017, preceded by fresh nominations,” the activist argues.

IEBC and President Uhuru who are named as respondent and interested party respectively have however filed submissions opposing Omtatah’s application,arguing that the Supreme court lacks the jurisdiction to prosecute the matter.

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