Nairobi — There was no imminent danger occasioning the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) chair Wafula Chebukati to hurriedly announce the results on the pretence that their lives were in danger, the lead petitioner in the Presidential petition Raila Odinga told the Supreme Court.
Lawyer Pheroze Nowrojee told the court that the defense that Chebukati was right to announce William Ruto, president elect despite dissent from the rest of the commissioners on grounds of necessity was misleading.
In particular, Odinga’s counsel questioned why Chebukati rushed to announce the results on the doctrine of necessity without the verification of results from 27 constituencies.
“There was no crisis at that moment, he indicated it was in great danger to their lives but 20 minutes later he was shaking hands with his client and his client was shaking hands with a very able bodied chairperson,” Nowrojee stated.
Nowrojee painted the picture of the environment of the court moments before Ruto was declared president elect saying it was more entertainment and inspiring and nothing symbolized danger.
“Nobody left that hall with the imminent expectation of watching carnage and bodies lying all over the floor,” he said.
Odinga’s counsel pointed out the legal justification that necessity occasioned Chebukati to announce the results hurriedly with a dissenting voice of four commissioners was a dangerous precedent.
Nowrojee stated that the justification by passed the constitution and was just a convenient and self serving excuse by the poll chairman.
“If power has been taken otherwise than in compliance with the constitution, the court should still recognize the reservation of power,” he stated.
IEBC through his counsel George Murugu had pointed out that the chairperson and some of the employees of the commission were under threat due to a security breach at Bomas and alleged harassment from security agencies.
Murugu was responding to a question posed by Justice Isaac Lenaola on why the chairperson couldn’t postpone the exercise since he had one more day to announce the results, before the lapse of the 7-day timeline stipulated in the constitution.
“He (Chebukati) made considerations concerning the security of his staff, who at the time were suffering arrests, abductions and injuries. In his mind it was prudent to conclude the exercise since Article 138 (3c) had been fully satisfied,” Murugu stated.