Supreme Court dismisses Wanjigi’s appeal over 2022 presidential bid

The Supreme Court of Kenya has struck out the appeal petition of Jimi Richard Wanjigi, a Safina Political Party presidential candidate who was ruled unqualified to contest in the 2022 General Elections.

Wanjigi had moved to the apex court after the High Court and the Court of Appeal dismissed his challenge against the decision of the returning officer for the presidential election, who rejected his nomination papers on various grounds.

Wanjigi had presented his nomination papers before the returning officer, including a letter from Daystar University indicating that he was a student pursuing a degree and had completed his coursework, copies of his transcripts, and a letter from the Commission for University Education confirming the accreditation of Daystar University in Kenya.

However, the returning officer, Wafula Chebukati, ruled that Wanjigi did not comply with the requisites for registration to vie for the position of president in the general elections, including not having sufficient supporters as required by law, not submitting a physical document of his degree as required under section 22(2) of the Elections Act, and not submitting his running mate’s nomination certificate.

Wanjigi then filed a judicial review application in the High Court seeking to quash the decision of the returning officer and the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission Disputes Committee.

The High Court dismissed Wanjigi’s application, holding that he had failed to prove that he possessed a degree from a recognized university as required. The court also found that he had failed to comply with other statutory requirements such as having at least 2,000 supporters from each county and submitting his running mate’s details.

Wanjigi appealed to the Court of Appeal, arguing that he had substantially complied with all legal requirements and that he was entitled to fair administrative action. He also claimed that he was being discriminated against on account of his political affiliation.

The Court of Appeal upheld the High Court’s decision, stating that Wanjigi had not demonstrated any constitutional issues arising from his case. The court also noted that Wanjigi had not exhausted other available remedies such as filing an election petition after being declared ineligible.

Wanjigi then moved to the Supreme Court on the grounds that the lower courts had misapprehended the Constitution. He contended that his right to vie for public office was guaranteed by Article 38(3) of The Constitution Of Kenya and that he met all qualifications set out by Article 137(1) of The Constitution Of Kenya.

However, the Supreme Court determined that it did not have jurisdiction to hear and determine the appeal under Article 163(4)(a) of The Constitution Of Kenya, which limits the court’s jurisdiction to issues involving the interpretation or application of the Constitution.

The Supreme Court noted that the main issue arising from Wanjigi’s grievance was his qualification to contest in the presidential election based on the Elections Act and Regulations, which did not raise any constitutional issues.




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