The High Court has barred the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) and Ethics and Anti Corruption Commission (EACC) on the eligibility of Ferdinand Waititu for the Nairobi gubernatorial by-election.
On Thursday, Justice Anthony Mrima directed that parties to the petition filed by Waititu should 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 the doctrine of sub judice,” said Justice Mrima.
The directive comes after Waititu, through John Swaka, complained that IEBC and EACC had been commenting on the merits of the petition before the court makes a finding.
The judge, however, directed IEBC and EACC to file their responses to the petition in which Waititu seeks an order to compel the commission to include his name in the ballot in the now-suspended Nairobi County gubernatorial by-election.
In the petition, Waititu wants the court to compel IEBC chairman, Wafula Chebukati, to accept his candidature.
This comes a week after EACC issued a statement saying that any individual who has been impeached would be barred from running for elective jobs.
The former governor argued that the actions by the IEBC to bar him amounted to a denial of his political rights and right to a fair trial.
“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),” said Waititu in his court papers.
The former county chief further accused state agencies 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.
Even though he faces a corruption case, Waititu said he had not yet been convicted of any offense by any court, and as such, he has the right to vie in 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,” said Waititu.
Further, he argued that he has since filed a case challenging his impeachment early last year which is set to be heard by a three-judge bench.
Waititu was impeached as governor of Kiambu County in 2020 but has expressed interest in contesting for the Nairobi County seat in the forthcoming elections in February.
The Nairobi governor’s office became vacant following the impeachment of Governor Mike Sonko.
Waititu claimed that the office of the Attorney-General has since given him an indication that the reason for his barring is the impeachment.
Waititu’s petition will be heard inter-parties on February 1.