Kenya: Odinga Says Dysfunctional IEBC Denied Him Victory

Nairobi — The Supreme Court was on Wednesday told of how the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) had lost its credibility, rendering it dysfunctional.

The Commission’s integrity in the wake of its shocking divisions dominated submissions by Azimio Leader Raila Odinga, who accused the Commission’s Chairperson Wafula Chebukati of bungling the August 9 polls.

“We have something that has never happened in this country that you have a commission that is divided right in the middle that speaks to a dysfunctional constitutional body,” Odinga’s lead counsel James Orengo said.

The divisions came to the fore after Chebukati declared William Ruto President-Elect on August 15, 2022.

Four IEBC Commissioners, including Vice Chair Juliana Cherera, Justus Nyangaya, Irene Masit, and Francis Wanderi, have since disassociated themselves from the results that Chebukati declared.

This admission has fuelled Odinga’s resolve that his petition challenging Ruto’s victory has merit.

Odinga questioned the “legality and legitimacy” of the results and pleaded with the court to look into the matter.

He maintained that his denied victory, which Chebukati orchestrated, was a travesty.

“The electoral commission, just like they did in 2017, did not preside over an election that as per the requirements of the Constitution,” Orengo said.

“Indeed, the tower of Babel has been brought down by the appearance of two factions within the Commission, and this in the event has created a situation where no Kenyan can believe that Ruto was validly elected.”

Odinga was candid that Chebukati had emasculated the role of the other four Commissioners in delivering a credible exercise.

“The power given to the chairman of IEBC to declare the results of an election in no way gives him any power to decide what that result will be,” lawyer Paul Mwangi who is also representing Odinga, submitted.

The former Prime Minister, who vied for the top seat a fifth time, unsuccessfully, wants the court to nullify the election.

Odinga insisted that in the event the court grants him the prayers, Chebukati should not be the one to oversee it.

Nullification of the election would send Kenyans back to the polls, which must be conducted within 60 days, with the specific day being November 4, 2022.

If the Judges uphold the election of President-Elect William Ruto, he will be sworn into office on September 13, 2022.

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