Azimio la Umoja coalition, led by Raila Odinga and his running mate Martha Karua, yesterday filed their election petition with the Supreme Court of Kenya. The Azimio petition accuses IEBC Chairman Wafula Chebukati of being corrupt, single-handedly overtaking the final stages of the election results tally, and delivering the election win to his preferred candidate. According to Azimio and as per the 2017 election case, the chairman of the IEBC cannot overrule the majority of commissioners and declare results without the unanimous agreement of the commission.
According to Azimio, corruption cartels took over the election and interfered with the voting technology, bribed officials, and even killed to ensure that they delivered the election to one William Samoei Ruto. According to them, the corruption cartels, which they suggested are under Ruto, did all they could to ensure an election win and consequently secure the opportunity to keep on stealing from the public.
Interference in the Election
According to Azimio la Umoja lawyer and now Siaya Governor James Orengo, the corruption cartels interfered with the KIEMS Kits used during the election, the IEBC portal, and even its servers. These claims are consistent with others that said that Ruto’s coalition, Kenya Kwanza’s members were in possession of interference gadgets during the tallying of the election results at the National Tallying Center at the Bomas of Kenya.
Bribery of Election Officials
Azimio’s petition also alleges that election officials were bribed all over the country and all the way to the top. Azimio said that IEBC Chairman Wafula Chebukati was himself bribed to ensure he delivered the election to William Ruto, his preferred candidate. Even more, IEBC officials all over the country were bribed to ensure the same and deliver faulty or tampered-with results as the final tally, Azimio alleges.
KIEMS Kits Tampered With
Furthermore, Azimio alleges that the KIEMS Kits used during the August 9 election were tampered with and electronically manipulated to give Ruto a boost during the election. Azimio alleges that the move was well-calculated and widespread, ensuring that the technology used during the election itself was biased and disproportionately favoring one candidate, William Ruto.
Azimio la Umoja’s Claims That No One Reached the 50% + 1 Threshold for a Win
Azimio la Umoja has also claimed that neither Raila Odinga nor William Ruto reached the 50% + 1 constitutional threshold for a win. As per the Azimio petition, all candidates in the 2022 general elections failed to reach this threshold and therefore, no one won the election. As such, Azimio is seeking a rerun of the election in a free, credible, and fair manner.
Poor Maths, Disappeared Rejected Votes, and Unannounced Results from 27 Constituencies
The Azimio la Umoja team also shared concerns about “inconsistencies” in the announced election results saying that the numbers just don’t add up. Even more, the Azimio petition is seeking clarification on rejected votes and their account. Azimio la Umoja also shared concerns about the tallying and verification of results from 27 constituencies whose results were not shared publicly.
A Truckload of Evidence
While presenting their petition to the Supreme Court in Milimani Law Courts in Nairobi, Azimio la Umoja ushered in a truckload of evidence that they had gathered to support their claims. The evidence was then submitted to the Supreme Court’s registry, moments before the 2 PM deadline for the delivery of election petitions for the just-concluded 2022 general elections.
A Supreme Battle is Waged
Azimio’s petition essentially waged a supreme battle at the Supreme Court as both the Azimio and Kenya Kwanza teams put their best foot forward and face off in court. Both teams and the IEBC have sought the services of the country’s top legal minds, to try and tilt the supreme court in their favor.
Numerous Election Petitions Filed with the Supreme Court
Beyond the Azimio petition, there were seven other election petitions filed with the Supreme Court including from a voter and other concerned parties. The Supreme Court had indicated that the deadline for the filing of election petitions was 2 PM on Monday and by the end of the day, had processed eight election petitions.
A Fortnight of Legal Wars
The 2010 Constitution of Kenya grants that the Supreme Court will hear all election petitions and make a determination in two weeks. Their determination will be final and the constitution grants the Supreme Court the powers to invalidate, recount, or nullify the election results. The Supreme Court can also determine that the wrong candidate was declared the winner and direct that the right candidate be sworn-in. The Supreme Court is set to hear the case in the next two weeks and will feature 7 judges, led by Chief Justice Martha Koome.
What the Azimio Petition Means for William Ruto
Declared presidential election winner William Ruto cannot be sworn in before the Supreme Court has heard and determined any and all election petitions. As per the law, a President-Elect can only be sworn in if the Supreme Court has heard and made a ruling on all election petitions. As such, the Azimio petition, if successful, could derail Ruto’s swearing-in and even invalidate or nullify his win.
Possible Outcomes for the Azimio Petition
The Azimio petition could go a number of ways including the following. The Supreme Court could throw out the case if it determines that there are no legal grounds or satisfactory evidence to show that indeed the election was interfered with, manipulated, and the undeserving candidate declared the winner. The Supreme Court could also uphold Azimio’s petition and their claims when presented with satisfactory evidence, and clear legal grounds for ascertaining that indeed the 2022 general election was unlawfully manipulated, interfered with, and the wrong candidate declared winner and President-Elect. In this case, there could be several outcomes as follows.
Possible Outcomes if the Azimio Petition is Successful
Invalidation of the Election
If successful the Azimio Petition could lead to the invalidation of the 2022 general election, be it in how it was conducted, results tallied, or winners declared for the presidential election.
Nullification of the Election
It could also mean that the election is nullified and declared null and void as happened in 2017 when the Supreme Court, under Chief Justice David Maraga, nullified the 2017 general election. If nullified, the election would then be automatically occasioned for a rerun or repeat.
A Retallying of the Results
A successful Azimio petition could also mean that the Supreme Court occasions a recounting or retallying of the election results. As such, all the votes cast would be retallied for the presidential election, and the accurate results determined. The accurate winner would then be declared President-Elect and consequently sworn in as Kenya’s Fifth President.
The Overturning of Election Results
Even more, a successful petition by the Azimio la Umoja coalition could also mean that the results of the 2022 general elections are overturned. In essence, the Supreme Court could determine that it is indeed Raila Odinga who won the election and strip William Ruto of his win. This would trigger Raila Odinga becoming President-Elect and the 5th President of Kenya.
Lastly, a successful petition could lead to the determination that no candidate actually reached the 50% + 1 threshold for a win and that both Odinga and Ruto did not win the election. In this case, the Supreme Court would call for a run-off, which would be occasioned sixty days from the time of the just-concluded election.