Don't comment on poll petition, CJ warns

Wednesday March 20 2013

From left: Supreme Court Judges Njoki Ndungu, Jackton Ojwang, Philip Tunoi, Willy Mutunga, Mohamed Ibrahim and Smokin Wanjala during the mention of presidential election petitions at the Supreme Court on March 20, 2013. BILLY MUTAI

From left: Supreme Court Judges Njoki Ndungu, Jackton Ojwang, Philip Tunoi, Willy Mutunga, Mohamed Ibrahim and Smokin Wanjala during the mention of presidential election petitions at the Supreme Court on March 20, 2013. BILLY MUTAI  

By PAUL OGEMBA

The Supreme Court has directed parties to the presidential election petitions not to prosecute the case outside court.

Chief Justice Willy Mutunga said the Supreme Court had taken charge of the matter and the merits or demerits of the suit can only be canvassed in court.

Dr Mutunga, the President of the Supreme Court, directed lawyers to the cases to advise their clients on the consequences of commenting on a matter before the court.

He urged the media to inform the public on court proceedings but to do it impartially and fairly.

Dr Mutunga's warning comes days after President-elect Uhuru Kenyatta and Prime Minister Raila Odinga's exchange over the petition.

He said he garnered 5.7 million votes against Mr Kenyatta’s 4.5 million votes, but Mr Kenyatta was declared the winner prompting him to move to the Supreme Court to contest the outcome.

However, the PM did not explain how he arrived at the figures.

And speaking on Tuesday, Mr Kenyatta asked the Raila Odinga's Coalition for Reforms and Democracy (Cord) to stop inciting Kenyans over the petition challenging his election.

Mr Kenyatta, who did not mention Mr Odinga by name, said: “We are ready for the verdict but we cannot just wait. What we are doing is preparing ourselves so that when the outcome is in our favour we continue with our jobs."