Kenya: Odinga files election petition to challenge Ruto’s win
Kenya’s opposition leader Raila Odinga has formally filed a petition challenging the declaration of William Ruto as the President-elect by Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC).
The petition was filed by Raila’s legal team led by Senior Counsel James Orengo at the Supreme Court sub-registry at the Milimani Law Courts on Monday, August 22,in line with the apex court regulations.
The Supreme Court (Presidential Election Petition) Rules 2017 dictate that if a petition is submitted on the last day of filing, then it should be done before 2 p.m on the said day.
According to Odinga’s lawyer Daniel Maanzo, the legal team had already filed the petition online and would submit the physical documents with the registry by the dateline.
“We have filed the petition electronically through the e-filing platform as we wait for the physical documents so that the court can ascert the submission.
“We have until 2 p.m but I can assure that everything is ready. The team is still compiling the paperwork into books and they should be on their way to court any time from now,” he stated.
Following the filing of the petition at the court, Raila Odinga-led Azimio will have until Tuesday, August 23, to serve the respondents – the president-elect and the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC).
IEBC will have four days to file their responses to the apex court. This will pave way for the hearing of the petition by the Supreme Court bench seven days after it is filed – Monday, August 29.
The seven-judge bench led by president and Chief Justice Martha Koome will have until September 4, to deliver its ruling on the presidential petition.
According to Article 140 of the Constitution of Kenya (2010), the court, through a majority vote, may uphold or annul the presidential election. If Ruto’s win is validated, he will be sworn in seven days after the ruling is issued – a contrary verdict would all for fresh elections
“If the Supreme Court determines the election of the President-elect to be invalid, a fresh election shall be held within 60 days after the determination,” reads Article 140 (c).
A number of top legal minds have been contracted by the petitioners and respondents to argue out their cases in court.
On Raila’s side are Senior Lawyers Otiende Amollo and Philip Murgor, Prof Tom Ojienda, Pheroze Norwojee, Mutula Kilonzo and Dan Maanzo.
IEBC Lawyers include former Attorney-General Githu Muigai, Senior Counsel Abdikadir Mohamed, Kamau Karori, Eric Gumbo, Peter Wanyama, and Edwin Mukele
Ruto will seek to defend his win through counsel Fred Ngatia, Adrian Kamotho, Kithure Kindiki, Nelson Havi and Collins Kiprono.