Deputy Chief Justice Philomena Mwilu caused expectant murmurs when she explained the numerous phone calls and massive pressure they handled prior to offering the verdict in the Presidential petition filed by Raila Odinga and his running mate Martha Karua.
In their final decision, the seven-judge bench upheld William Ruto’s election as President-elect by unanimously validating the results announced by the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission Chairman Wafula Chebukati.
Mwilu explained that all the seven judges, CJ Martha Koome, Isaac Lenaola, Njoki Ndung’u, Mohammed Ibrahim, Smokin Wanjala, William Ouko and herself, proceeded to an undisclosed location after parting ways with the petitioners and respondents on Friday, September 3, to deliberate over the evidence.
The judges, Mwilu disclosed, worked non-stop for three days without sleep until they resurfaced on Monday, September 5, a few minutes before they delivered their verdict at 12:00 noon.
“The seven of us have not slept since we parted company on Friday and we thank you that you appreciate we work under difficult circumstances.
“We agreed when we left here on Friday that we would not pick any of your calls. Some of you called us but we just couldn’t pick them and I hope you understand that we couldn’t,” explained Mwilu.
She further thanked the counsels who participated in the hearings appealing to them to advise their followers to accept the verdict as final.
“Thank you for appreciating that it wasn’t our wish, we were doing the wish of the Kenyan Constitution 2010, the laws of the Republic, the facts of the cases that you placed before us and the evidence in rebuttal. We know that we are incomplete without this side of the bar, the advocates. We appreciate your industry.
“We were impressed by the submissions you took and how deeply you believed in your client’s cases. The truth is that some 6 million Kenyans will not be happy today but that is the nature of the work we do and we hope you can advise your clients that it was what was expected. One side had to win,” DCJ Mwilu added.
DCJ Philomena Mwilu was part of retired Chief Justice David Maraga’s bench that nullified President Uhuru Kenyatta’s win in 2017.