March 27, 2013

KENYA ELECTION: Court Rejects 900 Page Odinga Affidavit

Outgoing Kenyan Prime Minister Raila Odinga, the key petitioner in the presidential election petition, has had several setbacks after court declined to admit more evidence from him.

The Supreme Court in a ruling on Tuesday said if it allowed the additional evidence, it would facilitate a miscarriage of justice and give unfair advantage to the petitioner.

While reading the ruling, Justice Philip Tunoi noted that the affidavit of 839 pages would change the nature and character of the original petition if court allowed it. Besides, the judge ruled, the affidavit would not allow other parties in the petition to respond in time.

Raila had also gone ahead to file the affidavit without permission of the court. This is why court rejected it and ordered that it be expunged from the court record.

Raila is challenging the election declaration by the Independent Election and Borders Commission (IEBC) announced Uhuru Kenyatta as the winner of the March 4 presidential election.

Earlier, Raila’s team faced another setback when court declined to grant them an order seeking to have a forensic audit on IEBC electronic system. Justice Mohammed Ibrahim said the court cannot grant the order for the audit without jeopardizing the petition.

Court agreed with Uhuru’s lawyer and IEBC that the application was time-barred, as the verdict is expected within a week. IEBC further argued that some of the infrastructure was handled by different contractors who were not party to the petition

Raila through his lawyers wanted court to compel IEBC to produce all its electronic equipment used in the March 4 presidential elections.

The trial begins on Wednesday after the pre-trial phase ended on Tuesday evening. Raila wants court to order fresh elections, describing the March 4 exercise as a sham.

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