Since 1902

By Pamela Chepkemei

Nairobi, Kenya: The Supreme Court rejected an application by constitutional expert Yash Pal Ghai to have Katiba Watch enjoined in the presidential petitions as a friend of the court.

“Having listened to all arguments from counsel and studied documentation submitted to the court with regard to this application, this court is convinced that the perception of bias and partisanship with regard to the applicant in this matter exist,” said Judge Njoki Ndung’u, who read the ruling on behalf of the bench.

Earlier, lawyers representing the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC), the President-elect Uhuru Kenyatta and the Deputy President-elect William Ruto opposed the application before six judges at the Supreme Court in Nairobi.

Sample articles

They accused Prof Ghai of being partisan and conducting campaigns against the President-elect and his deputy in the run up to the General Election held on March 4.

The lawyers also produced samples of articles in court authored by Ghai and Katiba Institute on the suitability of Uhuru and Ruto.

A lawyer acting for IEBC told the court that Ghai has a personal grudge against the chairman, Mr Issack Hassan.

Ghai also wanted Katiba Institute associated with him to be made party to the proceedings. He said the Institute deals with matters of the Constitution and would help the court reach a fair decision in the petition.

 The objections came as the court dismissed another application made by an independent litigant, Isack Aluochier, who wanted to be allowed to participate in the case.

The reason for the objections against Ghai and Katiba Institute was that Ghai had taken a partisan stand and had shown bias towards Uhuru and Ruto in articles published previously in various media.