NAIROBI, Kenya, Jan 7 – The High court on Thursday barred the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) and Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission (EACC) from commenting on the merits of former Kiambu Governor Ferdinand Waititu’s interest in the Nairobi gubernatorial seat.
Justice Anthony Mrima directed parties to a petition filed by Waititu to act with restraint by ensuring the 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 subjudice,” said Justice Mrima.
The former governor, who was impeached over a Sh588 million graft case, argued that the actions by the IEBC to bar him amounted to denial of his political rights and denial of right to fair trial which is guaranteed under the constitution.
“I will continue to suffer without the intervention of this honorable 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),” Waititu said in his court papers.
The directive resulted from a complaint raised by Waititu through lawyer John Swaka who told the court the IEBC and EACC had been commenting on the merits of the petition before the court makes a finding.
The judge further directed IEBC and EACC to file their responses to the petition where Waititu sued the agencies for attempting to bar him from contesting in the gubernatorial by-election in Nairobi.
The former county boss moved to court on December 31,2020 arguing that IEBC Chairperson Wafula Chebukati had barred him from running for the seat saying that any individual who has been impeached cannot run for an elective seat.
The former county chief further accused the IEBC together EACC of engaging in a smear campaign against him acting as judge, jury and executioner by convicting him even when the Sh588 million graft case against him is still pending in court.
“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,” Waititu argued.
Waititu also mentioned to the court that a petition challenging his impeachment as Kiambu Governor was still pending in court.
Waititu’s petition will be heard inter-parties on February 1.