Njonjo Mue, Khalifa lawyers in tight spot after filing documents late

President Uhuru Kenyatta’s lawyer Fred Ngatia reacts during the status conference of the presidential election petition at the Supreme Court in Nairobi, November 14, 2017. /JACK OWUOR

Njonjo Mue and Khelef Khalifa’s lawyers found themselves in a tight spot on Tuesday when they were asked to explain why they filed documents outside stipulated time frames.

The chairmen of the Kenyan chapter of the International Commission of Jurists and Muslims for Human Rights challenged President Uhuru Kenyatta’s victory in the re-run.

President Uhuru Kenyatta’s lawyers Fred Ngatia and Melissa Ng’ania asked the Supreme Court to strike out five internal memos which they said were obtained unlawfully from IEBC.

The president’s lawyer also accused the petitioners of filing documents with missing affidavits.

Lawyer Julie Soweto was at pains to explain the delay but noted she filed two complete sets as required so the court should ignore technicalities and admit all documents.

She told Chief Justice David Maraga they were in the process of filing the complete documents at around 11.45pm on November 6 but that the registry was closed so they were asked to return the next day.

“We brought two complete sets the others. We were in the process of filing.”

Maraga then sought an explanation from deputy registrar David ole Keiwua and asked whether the petitioners were not allowed to file their documents.

“Did you come with everything on 6th and was registrar to tired to receive them?” the CJ asked.

Ole Keiwua said: “They brought only two complete sets. They left at their own choice. We were not tired.”

The petitioners were required to file at least eight sets of documents.

Ngatia said the court cannot turn a blind eye to the fact that the petitioners failed to comply with the law.

The lawyer noted a complete petition includes all affidavits and said all those that were filed outside the constitutional deadline should be expunged

Uhuru’s lawyers earlier asked the apex court to expunge five internal memos filed by Mue and Khalifa.

Ng’ania argued the memos were unlawfully acquired so they should not be in court records.

But counsels Julie Soweto and Harun Ndubi said the documents are in the public domain so they should not be ignored.


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