“I hope that I will be able to persuade you that there is no such position of Presidential Returning Officer. It is a creation of the chairperson of the IEBC and it is created for the purposes of executing a very calculated scheme,” Paul Nyamodi told the court.
The lawyer said the Chairman of the electoral commission has no such powers, and accused him of violating the Elections Act and the Constitution.
“Be that as it may, the chairman is merely enabled to declare. The conduct of the election by dint of Article 138 (2) is by 290 returning officers,” he said.
“It was his election to run as he saw fit…tallying and verification was done exclusively by him. The role of the national returning officer is not a shared responsibility and not subject to plenary discussion of the commission because at the end of the day this is how Chebukati tallied and declared the results.”
Tallying and verification, I submit on the admission of IEBC chairman was done by Marjan Hussein Marjan and Abdi Guliye and not the IEBC,” Nyamodi said.
The other huge development at the hearing is that after trying to subvert the court order to grant access of the IEBC servers to Azimio legal Chebukati has now been forced to grant that access.
The latest news is that the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) now says it has complied with the Supreme Court order to grant parties in the petition access to its servers.
“Following the Supreme Court order, IEBC has granted access to the parties to access the servers and the scrutiny exercise is ongoing,” the commission said in the evening.
The ruling also granted access to the servers to petitioners Youth Advocacy for Africa (YAA) Peter Kirika, human rights activist Khelef Khalifa, George Osewe, Ruth Mumbi, and Grace Kamau.
It is interesting that Ruto’s legal team have no interest whatsoever in accessing the IEBC servers. If they were so sure of their alleged victory you would think they would want access to the servers to display their victory to the court and to Kenyan people.
The good news here is that there is going to be a whole ton of tech experts combing through the IEBC servers to identify any irregularities and manipulations of the system to serve specific interests. This is not good news for Chebukati and his king which explains why they tried to block access to the servers. That project failed.
From the Ruto side their big lawyer Githu Muigai seems to be only focused on who will represent the four commissioners who rejected the Chebukati results.
“It is not the work of the commissioners of IEBC, whether in majority or in minority, to procure any services, that flies totally in the face of the procurement law in this country. As we sit here now, the four who purport to have procured have committed a criminal offence,” Muigai told the judges who ruled that they will only him, Eric Gumbo and Kamau Karori who were retained by the commission.
The four commissioners already have their affidavits admitted as evidence in court the question of which lawyer represents is irrelevant unless they are being charged with some criminal offenses which is not the case.
Githu Muigai is actually a very smart lawyer and one of the best in the country. He was a good friend of mine at Nairobi University and he is a funny guy. These Ruto people are giving him an impossible job. He is going to do his best for them and lose. That is fine.
Then we have the circus of those who wanted marathon counting of votes at the Supreme Court. Azimio got an order for a re-count on 15 voting centres. We will see what their point was when the vote recount is done. The court has stopped anymore recounting which is a smart move. The court has seven days to deliver a verdict and wasting time in court can be a good strategy for some.
This petition is moving to the heart of the issue. That is good for the country regardless of the verdict.
Adongo Ogony is a Human Rights Activist and a Writer who lives in Toronto, Canada