Political players within the Jubilee Party are now declaring that they will floor Raila Odinga in court, again.
The leaders said the petition filed by NASA is weak, inconsistent and incapable of overturning President Kenyatta’s election.
Tharaka Nithi Senator-elect Prof Kithure Kindiki led the onslaught against the petition, saying despite filing volumes of paper work in court, NASA has not made a serious case that can lead to the nullification of the elections.
“I have gone through that petition, paragraph by paragraph, sentence by sentence and word for word from last evening, and as a lawyer, I am shocked. This is the weakest petition I have come across filed in any court across the world, trying to contest the election of a president,” Kindiki said.
This happened even as President Uhuru Kenyatta’s legal team was scrutinising the petition filed before the Supreme Court, identifying key weaknesses it intends to rely on for its defence in what promises to be an epic legal contest.
Saturday, senior counsel Ahamednassir Abdullahi confirmed that he met his colleague Fred Ngatia on Friday night to have a preliminary look into the petition that had found its way into social media as they await to be served.
Ahamednassir dismissed the petition as lacking definition and one that did not offer any legal grievance.
He termed the petition as weak and one that is “unfortunately a waste of time, meant to give false hope to Raila and his supporters”.
“We do not wish to litigate the matter through the media, but our preliminary finding is that this petition is addressed to Raila’s political constituency and is meant to give false hope that the Supreme Court will give Raila what the Kenyan voter denied him on August 8,” he said
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“The main thing that Raila complained about in his claim of electoral malpractice was the hacking of IEBC systems. But in his petition, he has completely abandoned this theory and is now telling us of some votes that were not added here and others that were subtracted there. It’s such an underwhelming petition.”
President Kenyatta’s team is said to have sought the services from several lawyers to interrogate the volume of paperwork presented to the Supreme Court, even as they waited to be formally served in accordance with court procedures.
Kindiki said that while NASA leaders have always claimed the hacking of IEBC systems led to the manipulation of presidential results in Uhuru’s favour, there was nothing in their petition to support this ground.
He said that the petition does not identify any allegation of an incident of electoral fraud, as they are required to demonstrate to the court.
“In a presidential petition, one would expect that in the basic reading of what is filed, even without supporting it with further evidence, the court can identify the key element of the supposed electoral fraud. Unfortunately, what they have given us are stories and rumours,” said Kindiki.
His Elgeyo Marakwet counterpart Kipchumba Murkomen, also a lawyer, said the petition was a fishing expedition.
“This is a hopeless petition They have always told us that the systems were hacked and that is how rigging occurred, but when you read the petition, there is nothing on this,” said Murkomen.
The Senator-elect also took issue with what he claimed has been a sustained effort by Raila and his team to intimidate the Supreme Court, with their constant statement that a positive consideration of their petition would help redeem the court.
“The Supreme Court has no redemption to make. NASA must stop these acts of intimidation,” he said.
On his part, Garissa Township MP-elect Aden Duale termed the petition hollow and lacking in substance.
Duale said that despite providing volumes of papers in court, the substance of the petition is only contained in 23 pages from the 4,000 pages they have filed.
“They claimed to have 25,000 pages of evidence, revised the same to 9,000 pages, but only came up with 4,000 pages,” he said.
Jubilee Secretary General Raphael Tuju said NASA must convince the court how practical it can be that while he won the election, his coalition could not have majority of other elected leaders.
“How can you convince anyone that you actually won the popular vote, but your coalition performed so dismally in other elective positions? How do you explain that Jubilee won super majority in both houses of Parliament and also clinched the majority of gubernatorial seats?” posed Tuju.
“At times you need to simply look at the numbers. Even if he (Raila) was to be declared President, where would he garner the majority to help him govern?”