There was a tense moment at the Supreme Court on Monday when police attempted to block some of the people accompanying the National Super Alliance (NASA) presidential candidate to the Supreme Court.
Raila Odinga arrived at the court at 8.45am in the company of NASA co-principals Musalia Mudavadi and Moses Wetang’ula, Senator-elect George Khaniri and Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) party’s Norman Magaya.
The group was accosted by police officers who attempted to scrutinise Raila’s entourage. Wiper party leader Kalonzo Musyoka’s bodyguards were barred from the court after he arrived five minutes later.
“Please wait, there are procedures at this gate. These are our procedures,” Inspector Papai was heard saying.
But Raila demanded that the security officers manning the gates should allow his team in.
“Which procedures are you referring to? This is not a police station. Whose order is that? You cannot block us from attending the Supreme Court proceedings,” protested Raila. “These are NASA principals and we have a right to attend,” he said.
The police then allowed Raila’s entire team in.
When they attempted to block part of the team, which included his official bodyguards, Raila personally ushered them in, to the consternation of the security officers manning the City Hall entrance.
But more drama awaited them at the entrance to the main Supreme Court whose sitting capacity is limited to less than 50 people.
While Raila, Mudavadi and Wetang’ula were allowed in, their bodyguards were barred.
Leader of Majority in the National Assembly Aden Duale walked in a few minutes after the NASA principals with less drama. Others include Senate Leader of Majority Kithure Kindiki, Elgeyo Marakwet Senator-elect Kipchumba Murkomen and Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) CEO Ezra Chiloba.
Mombasa Governor Hassan Joho was also allowed in
Senior Counsel James Orengo, who is the lead counsel for the petitioner, together with Counsel Atiende Amolo and Tom Kajwang were the first to arrive a few minutes after 8am.
President Uhuru Kenyatta’s counsel team led by veteran lawyer Fred Ngatia arrived later in the company of Abdullahi Ahmednasir.
Others who made their way to the court were Senior Counsel Paul Muite, Issa Mansur and Patrick Lumumba.
Inside the courtroom, Raila, sat next to Kalonzo and Wetang’ula. The three could be seen consulting during the proceedings.
As soon as the Supreme Court judges walked in shortly after 9.20am, the sessions began. Chief Justice David Maraga set the ball rolling by welcoming the lawyers and their clients.
Justice Maraga then invited Justice Isaac Lenaola to read orders sought by Raila for scrutiny and audit of all the returns of the August 8 presidential election, including but not limited to forms 34A, 34B and 34C, and an order for scrutiny and audit of the system and technology used by IEBC in the presidential election.
“Having so held, one aspect of the petition and application requires addressing at this stage. It has been the petitioner’s claim in pleadings that during the presidential election, forms 34A were not captured, stored and transmitted in the expected time frame, a claim partly raised in prayer 3(g) on the application,” said Justice Lenaola.
The Supreme Court granted the orders
“In that context, we hereby order that the 1st Respondent shall supply to the petitioner and 3rd Respondent for their scrutiny scanned and transmitted copies of forms 34A and 34B forthwith.”
The electoral commission said it would comply with the orders.
“IEBC has nothing to hide. We shall fully comply as our concerns have been addressed,” said lawyer Paul Muite.