Raila Odinga’s presidential petition against William Ruto’s election has finally been admitted at the Supreme Court of Kenya.
Mr Odinga, a veteran opposition leader who ran with the backing of President Uhuru Kenyatta, has rejected the outcome of the August 9 poll, branding it a “travesty.”
Mr Odinga and his running mate and co-petitioner Martha Karua are seeking 23 reliefs, including an order for inspection of the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) servers and scrutiny of the rejected and spoilt votes.
They also want an order for scrutiny and forensic audit of the Kenya Integrated Elections Management System (Kiems) kits, IEBC website and portal and the returns of the presidential election, including Forms 34A, 34B and 34C.
In addition, an order for the invalidation of Ruto’s election and the IEBC be compelled to organize a fresh presidential election in strict conformity with the Constitution and Elections Act. The fresh election should not be presided by Mr Chebukati, they say.
The pair is also seeking an order to summon Director of Criminal Investigations George Kinoti to produce statements, photographs, reports, equipment, laptops, phones and other gadgets and any other material connected/related to the conduct of the elections and found in possession of the Venezuela nationals arrested at JKIA.
They further want Mr Kinoti summoned and directed to produce laptop(s) allegedly retrieved and seized from Koech Geofrey Kipngosos, an agent of UDA party and report on the forensic analysis and examination of the laptop(s) and content.
Besides Mr Odinga’s petition, five other lawsuits have been filed, ahead of the 2 pm deadline, seeking to overturn the presidential elections. The petitioners are human rights activist Khelef Khalifa, the director at Muslims for Human Rights (Muhuri), and Anthony Manyara, the East African Students Union president, who has cited widespread irregularities. Others are Reuben Kigame, who was disqualified from contesting the 2022 presidential contest, activist and Busia-senator elect Okiya Omtatah and a voter John Njoroge Njoroge.
Politician Moses Kuria also filed a petition to dismiss Mr Odinga’s suit.
The petitioners have a day to serve the respondents, who have four days to submit their replies. A day for those who wish to be enjoined in the petition and another day for preliminary hearings.
The seven Supreme Court judges will then hold a day for pre-trial in which the judges will issue guidelines on how the hearing will be conducted, the time for presentation and rebuttal, and the sitting arrangements. The trial starts immediately after the pre-trial, which could be done on the same day.
The judges have six days to hear and write the judgment. The entire presidential election petition takes 14 days.
‘Forces of democracy’
Mr Odinga, in a briefing to the press after filing, said he has sufficient evidence to overturn the August 9 election.
“The petition is about the forces of democracy who are pushing for good governance against cartels of corruption, who can stop at nothing to ensure that they take the leadership of the country by all means,” he said.
He accused the cartels of election interference, which he said has led to the progressive low voter turnout as voting is seen not to matter.
“The 2022 election marks the most daring move by the cartels to overturn the wishes of the electorate,” said Mr Odinga.