Lawyers of Raila Amolo Odinga and his 2022 presidential running mate Martha Karua are expected to answer a number of defining and tough questions that will either make or break the five-time presidential candidate.
The petitioners’ lawyers made their submissions on Wednesday, August 31, telling the Supreme Court of Kenya why they think that William Samoei Ruto’s election victory should be nullified.
After the lawyers for the petitioners made their case, the justices of Kenya’s highest court raised a number of questions to which they want answers today.
The responses to the following questions may either break or make Raila Odinga:
Chief Justice Martha Koome
- You have asked this court to find the chairman culpable of various breaches and even if there should be a repeat election, he cannot preside… My dilemma is: this is a constitutional office holder. Under Article 251(2) there is a detailed procedure for the removal of a constitutional office holder. How do we go about that? Would we be making an order contrary to the constitution?
Deputy Chief Justice Philomena Mwilu
- When did this commission become so dysfunctional? What was the effect of becoming that dysfunctional? What corrective measures were attempted and with what result?
- When the form 34A is captured using the KIEMs kit at the polling station, is it an image, a photo or what is it called? That time when it is taken and as it is being sent originally, is it in pdf form? The journey from polling station to Bomas, the things that happen in between, must be described by the nature of that image at the starting point.
- In the event we arrive at figures showing either the current president elect has more votes or the petitioner in petition number five has more numbers, what are we to do… as we still to declare irrespective of all other processes?
Justice judge Smokin Wanjala
- We have been informed that the commissioners were allocated roles other than those for which they were appointed. Why didn’t they protest? Is this chairperson we are dealing with such a terror that no one can deal with. Why did these serious Kenyans not seize that chance and protest to the people of Kenya?
- I have been intrigued… we have this form 34A… for ease of understanding, let us say it leaves the polling station by road to go to the national tallying centre. Its image leaves to go to the same destination, but this time by air. Somewhere, in midair, the image is captured and all sorts of things are done before it is re-uploaded. This means if you go to that re-uploaded image you will see different content from what it had at the polling station. To determine whether that has actually taken place. You would have to go back to the tallying centre and locate the one that left by road and compare. Is it possible that that capturing midair somehow magically changes the content of the one that left by road?
- What is the relevance of the percentage of voter turnout to determining whether a candidate marshalled the magic number.
Justice Njoki Ndung’u
- I don’t understand much about ICT but I presume that at the polling station when the KIEMS kit takes the image, these forms are written in handwriting. How can a form be changed in handwriting…. How does that happen?
- If we look at the Constitution, each of these elections are separately provided for in terms of qualifications, nomination process even dispute resolution. A voter gets six ballots and drops them into six ballot boxes. Is voter repression only on presidential election or is that an argument that can be used by an MCA in Kakamega County to say that because the governor elections were not held on that day, their votes were also affected?
Justice William Ouko
- You said the postponement of election in certain areas resulted in voter suppression… people wake up one morning to vote for a specific category of voters. E.g MCA, Senator but not the other positions?
- Do we have any scientific nexus to this or is it just an assumption that this happens?
Justice Isaac Lenaola
- We saw the commissioners in public reading out the results. They did this until the 11th hour. What evidence do we have that this is not an afterthought? Do we have anything showing that for the last three or four months they documented these grievances and that there was therefore a storm brewing.
- What role did violence play at Bomas? We have the evidence of the chairman that he could not do this or that because he was attacked… You need to explain that.
Justice Mohammed Ibrahim
- If an election is ordered to be done, yet one of the reliefs you are seeking is that the chair be declared unfit to hold office… our constitution has never contemplated such a lacuna. How is that possible? What are your proposals practically on the ground?” he posed
- We would like you to lay a legal basis for this in your rejoinder. No remedy or relief that has been sought will be taken casually… Is this doable, feasible in law and in all other practical ways?
Meanwhile, Kenya’s Supreme Court judges have also asked about 30 tough questions to William Ruto and IEBC lawyers. (See the Questions Here).