by Chrispinus Omar
and David Musyoka NAIROBI (Xinhua) --
The hearing of a landmark case challenging the re-election of
Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta opened on Monday after a series
of preliminary rulings on the evidence presented by Raila Odinga,
the opposition Presidential candidate challenging the poll
The seven-member bench at the Supreme Court
was due to rule on Odinga’s request for the opening up of the
servers of the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC)
for inspection, before listening to the lawyer representing
Odinga and his running mate Kalonzo Musyoka in court.
Odinga wants the Supreme Court to nullify the results of the
presidential elections held on Aug. 8, saying the country’s
electoral body, IEBC failed to abide by the laws and regulations
guiding its conduct.
The Supreme Court is constitutionally mandated to rule by
Friday on whether the polls were lawfully conducted or to
nullify and call for fresh Presidential elections within 60
days, according to the 2010 Constitution.
Both the electoral body and President Kenyatta have objected
to Odinga’s application to be granted access to the information
on the grounds that it not only jeopardizes the integrity of the
systems but is impractical given the time constraints the court
They have also accused Odinga of seeking to secure evidence
to support his contention that President Kenyatta did not
legitimately win re-election.
(Xinhua) -- Independent
Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) official
carries 34 A, B and C election forms during the last day
of the presidential petition hearing at the Supreme
Court in Nairobi, Aug. 29, 2017.
The opposition leader claims Kenyatta’s Jubilee party hacked
the results transmission system and insists an audit would
expose who won the vote.
In his court papers he says that Kenyatta’s victory was based
on a mathematical formula and a fixed algorithm factor.
"It is in light of the foregoing that I am advised by my
advocates on record, and believe the same to be true, that only
a system audit of all the Commission’s infrastructure can answer
the many questions and gaps surrounding why what was supposed to
be a seamless system of integration of voter registration, voter
identification and results transmission, failed at the tail
end," Odinga says.
Lawyers and judges have been pressed for time, given that a
ruling in the case is required within 14 days of a Presidential
election being held.
Without the petition, President Kenyatta would have been
sworn in on Aug. 29.
On Sunday, the Supreme Court allowed two other presidential
candidates, Ekuru Aukot, whose party, the Third Way Alliance,
contested the elections and Michael Wainaina, an independent
candidate, to join the petition and make their observations for
the consideration of the Court.
Kenya’s main opposition, the National Super Alliance (NASA),
which Odinga represented, wants the election results nullified
because the IEBC failed to conduct a transparent and verifiable
Odinga’s legal team will have five hours to submit its case,
IEBC will have three hours to make its submissions and
Kenyatta’s defense lawyers will also be given three hours to
make their presentation.
Interested parties, Michael Wainaina, Ekuru Aukot and friends
of the court Attorney-General Professor Githu Muigai have been
allocated 20 minutes each to make their presentations.
Finally, Odinga’s legal team will have one hour to make
President Kenyatta was announced the winner of the polls on
Aug. 11, with 54 percent of the votes cast against Odinga’s 44
percent of the votes.
However, Odinga wants the Supreme Court to revise its 2013
decision which removed spoilt presidential votes from the number
of votes to be taken into consideration while calculating the
percentages received by the candidates in an election.
Odinga’s lawyers argue in sworn statements presented in court
that voters who cast a spoilt vote in an election should not be
excluded when calculating the final vote outcome and the
Kenya’s constitution requires an outright winner to garner 50
percent plus one vote.
The number of spoilt votes in the August elections stood at
slightly 400,000 votes.
However, while releasing the final results, IEBC Chairman
Wafula Chebukati announced spoilt votes stood at slightly less
than 80,000. The difference is part of the petition in court.
The Court also allowed the country’s attorney-general as a
friend of the court, which allows his office to address the
court on matters concerning the application of the constitution.
Legal commentators praised the Supreme Court rulings as
"well-reasoned" and stated the decision on whether to open the
IEBC computer data banks would also have a significant outcome
on the case.
In his suit papers, Odinga wants the Supreme Court to nullify
the poll results on the grounds that the IEBC favoured his rival
Kenyatta during the elections.
Odinga also says in the court papers that his votes were
systematically reduced in some instances and added to Kenyatta’s
count and that the errors recorded in the entire process were
too gross to an extent that it is nearly impossible to ascertain
whether Kenyatta actually won the elections.
Kenyatta responded to the petition, stating his campaign
covered the entire country and his campaign messaging was
well-received by voters who responded by giving him an