Court gags agencies in Waititu Nairobi contest debate

Friday, January 8th, 2021 00:00 |

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The High Court has barred the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) and Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission (EACC) from commenting on the merits of Ferdinand Waititu’s interest in the Nairobi gubernatorial seat.

Justice Anthony Mrima directed that parties to the petition filed by Waititu (pictured) to act with restraint by ensuring proceedings before court are not discussed outside the jurisdiction of the court.

“I direct the lawyers in this matter to advise their clients to respect doctrine of sub judice,” said Justice Mrima.

Directive comes after Waititu’s lawyer John Swaka told the court that IEBC and EACC had been commenting on the merits on whether his client  meets the threshold to vie in the Nairobi by-election even though the case is yet to be determined. 

Judge has, however, directed IEBC and EACC to file their responses to the petition where Waititu sued the agencies for barring him from contesting the gubernatorial by-election in Nairobi. 

Personal bond

However, during the dependency of his case, IEBC on Wednesday gazetted Waititu’s name as an aspirant for the Nairobi gubernatorial seat.

In his petition, the former county boss moved to court on December 31, last year arguing that IEBC chairman Wafula Chebukati had barred him from running for the seat.

Waititu argued that IEBC’s actions amounts to denial of his political rights and right to fair trial.

“I will continue to suffer without the intervention of this honourable court, which ought to look at the process that was both illegal and procedural leading to the decision that has been stated by the first respondent (IEBC),” says Waititu in his court papers.

The former county chief further accused IEBC and EACC of engaging in a smear campaign against him acting as judge, jury and executioner by convicting him even when the Sh588 million criminal case against him is still pending in court.  

He adds that though he faces a corruption case he has not been convicted of any offence by any court and as such he has the right to vie for the gubernatorial election.

“As it stands, I have not been convicted of any crime and have fully complied with all electoral guidelines provided when running for the aforementioned electoral position,” says Waititu.

Waititu’s petition will be heard inter-parties on February 1.  

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