Legio Maria faithful caught up between anti-riot police and NASA demonstrators in downtown Nairobi on Friday [Elvis Ogina, Standard]

The Opposition alliance Friday kept the country waiting for several hours as the deadline of filing their petition approached, with journalists being casualties of a long day-wait.

On Wednesday, NASA changed tune after earlier denouncing any move to petition the election at the Supreme Court, and announced a court action. On Thursday, the public and media were kept guessing the exact time the case will be filed, but later in the evening indicated the filling will be done the following day (Friday).

Anxious supporters

Friday, it was a cat and mouse chase as NASA lawyers failed to communicate on the exact time of filing.

Journalists, including court and political reporters were frustrated as their sources -- mainly lawyers and politicians -- either failed to respond to calls and texts or were reluctant to give out information.

As the clock ticked, anxious NASA supporters were grouping outside the Supreme Court with the hope of witnessing their leaders arrive at the Judiciary to file their case.

The Supreme Court premises and its environs teemed with uniformed and plain clothes police men. Anti-riot police officers kept vigil.

At one time, a Raila supporter caused a scene as he demanded to access the court to meet the NASA chief. The police whisked him away.

At about midday, NASA Presidential Campaign Secretariat, through communications director Kathleen Openda, sent an email indicating the case will be filed at 3pm, only to contradict the same mail barely 30 minutes later.

“Kindly note the NASA coalition will file its election petition with the Supreme Court at 3pm this afternoon. A copy of the same will then be availed to you,” an email sent by Ms Openda at half past noon read in part.

Thirty minutes later, she sent another email; “Kindly ignore previous alert. Will advise time for filing of the petition, apologies.”

This once again signalled another long wait for the filing of the petition, which will lay the ground for NASA’s quest to overturn President Uhuru Kenyatta’s victory.

New evidence

As the public waited, MPs allied to the Opposition were converging at Parliament Buildings to await the principals who were said to be holed up in a private residence in Karen to finalise the application.

NASA refused to divulge details of the lawyers spearheading the case even as reports suggested that a team of 25 were drafting and re-drafting the application with new evidence.

“The delay was caused by emerging new evidence, but we are about to finish. Actually, lawyers and their clerks are binding the documents now,” a source close to the activities said at around 7pm.

Chief Registrar of the Judiciary Anne Amadi had announced earlier on the that registry will be open until mid-night to allow NASA to file its application, giving the Opposition lawyers the luxury to work into the night.

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