Azimio’s presidential candidate, Raila Odinga, will file loads of documents and evidence in the Supreme Court aimed at convincing the judges that the electoral commission was involved in a series of fraudulent manipulations aimed at denying him a victory in the general elections of the August 9.
Multiple testimonies from people familiar with the ongoing efforts to mount a ‘watertight’ presidential petition point to a strong determination by the Azimio la Umoja One Kenya coalition to persuade the Supreme Court to overturn President-elect William Ruto’s victory in favor of their candidate.
The team, which includes lead attorneys Pheroze Nowrojee, Phillip Murgor, James Orengo and Amos Wako, among others, intends to file a damning audit report warning against rogue employees of the Independent Electoral Commission and Frontiers (IEBC) which had unlimited login credentials for a single hand to manipulate the voter register, including having the power to transfer polling stations without any oversight.
The audit report by consultancy KPMG, which was submitted to senior IEBC officials less than a week before the publication of the final voters list which was used in the just-concluded elections, also captured cases of hundreds of thousands of voters who were either double-registered, were registered using expired passports or fictitious ID card numbers.
In early July, IEBC President Wafula Chebukati announced that the commission had suspended and reported to the Director of Public Prosecutions three of its employees implicated in the improper transfer of voters, but the Azimio team will seek to convince the court that no remedial action was taken to stop the illegal manipulation, leaving open a window that served to suppress votes for Azimio’s presidential candidate.
The drafting of the petition by lawyers assembled by the Azimio La Umoja-One Kenya coalition party is at an advanced stage to be filed before the 2 p.m. deadline imposed by the Supreme Court tomorrow.
The lead lawyers Mr. Odinga has assembled will be supported by equally senior jurists, including Professor Tom Ojienda, Daniel Maanzo, Otiende Amollo and Mutula Kilonzo Jnr.
A separate legal team is undertaking research and compiling data to form part of the evidence for alleged electoral illegalities and irregularities.
The team is led by constitutional expert Paul Mwangi, Mr. Odinga’s longtime legal adviser.
The team’s mandate is to obtain a declaration that Ruto was not validly declared president-elect.
While spoiling for an epic legal showdown, Mr Ruto’s Kenya Kwanza Alliance has reportedly put together a team to be led by the president’s former lawyer Uhuru Kenyatta, Fred Ngatia, and Ahmednasir Abdullahi, both senior advisers.
Other lawyers on the team include Adrian Kamotho, Elias Mutuma, Collins Kiprono and Emmanuel Kibet.
Azimio’s legal team’s petition aims to cast the net wide and far as it seeks to convince the seven-judge bench to overturn the presidential election result, as happened in 2017 when the court ruled. ordered a repeat of the race that pitted President Uhuru Kenyatta against Mr Odinga. as the best candidates.
They intend to file evidence showing that an irreparable split in the commission made it impossible to procedurally verify the tally and publicly announce the results, which they say would have shown a different outcome than what Mr. Chebukati delivered on Monday.
Mr. Chebukati declared Mr. Ruto president-elect having garnered 7.1 million votes, while Mr. Odinga’s tally totaled 6.9 million votes.
The lawyers will cite “abnormal” voter turnout in parts of the country in favor of Kenya’s Kwanza Alliance, the suspicious application of electronic devices used in voter registration and voting and irregularities and discrepancies in the final results.
They will also argue that the election commission’s decision to grant universal access to Forms 34A, B and C on the online portal opened a window for document manipulation, which they will prove by filing an audit report. .
They will seek to convince Chief Justice Martha Koome’s team that the count was not entirely over by the time Mr Chebukati declared Mr Ruto the winner of the polls since results from 28 constituencies were yet to be verified.
The IEBC was hit by a falling out that pitted four commissioners against three, rendering it dysfunctional in the hours before the poll results were announced.
The petition claims that the final tally announced by Mr. Chebukati is invalid since the commission never sat to verify and review the canceled votes.
A four-member splinter group, led by Vice-President Juliana Cherera, quit Kenya’s Bomas to announce their dissociation with the final results at the Serena Hotel. They cited “opacity” in the process.
Mr. Chebukati ended up with a minority of three members.
On the register, the strategy consists in questioning the credibility of the electoral list based on the KPMG audit.
The report revealed major security flaws in the 2022 voter register, revealing that there were 14 mysterious Returning Officers (ROs) who managed the IEBC’s Integrated Database Management System (IDMS) .
The report uncovered weak password systems and ghost election official login credentials, highlighting the possibility that hackers could gain access to the database and continue to deny voters their right to vote by deleting their credentials from the list or by transferring them out of their preferred polling stations.
The report revealed the existence of 10 users named ‘Embakasi South Clerks’. There were four other unauthorized computer users.
Additionally, there were 11 active generic accounts on the Automated Biometric System (ABIS) application and two other ABIS users with the same login ID.
Further examination of the registry revealed that RO user accounts in IDMS were not assigned to named users.
The petition also raises issues with the suspension of IEBC officials who were allegedly involved in wrongdoing, but it did not reveal how it addressed the issues.
With respect to the IEBC’s online portal, it is alleged that the electoral commission erred in law by making election forms 34A and B available to the public.
Although the commission says making them public was to promote transparency based on a 2017 Supreme Court ruling, the petition says the legal requirement was electronic transmission of election results, but not openness. from the portal to all.
It is alleged that the portal was exposed to hacking and the documents were exposed to manipulation.
Regarding questionable voter turnout, the petition says that data was falsified and turnout was inflated in some constituencies in the Mount Kenya region to be in favor of Dr Ruto.
It is alleged that the tally of votes cast for the other elective positions such as governor, senate and women’s representative was hundreds of thousands of votes lower than that of the president.
The petition will ask the IEBC to disclose what was the actual voter turnout data captured in the Kenya Integrated Electoral Management System (Kiems) kits and how many voters were identified through the manual register.
Azimio agents were reportedly chased out of polling centers at the start of polls in the Mount Kenya region on the pretext that Azimio is not a political party.