Raila and Martha: We accept, but disagree with Supreme Court verdict

Raila Odinga Martha Karua supreme court petition kenya election ruto iebc

Kenya's Azimio La Umoja Party (One Kenya Coalition Party) presidential candidate Raila Odinga and his running mate Martha Karua look at a document at the Milimani High Court in Nairobi on August 22, 2022. 

Photo credit: Simon Maina | AFP

Azimio One Kenya Presidential Candidate Raila Odinga and his running mate Martha Karua have said they disagree with the findings of the Supreme Court that has thrown out Azimio’s petition and upheld the win of President-elect William Ruto.

In a short statement issued an hour after the verdict was read, Mr Odinga expressed his disappointment with the judges' decision. 

"Our lawyers proffered irrefutable evidence and the facts were on our side. Unfortunately, the judges saw it otherwise," he said.

"In this regard, we respect the opinion of the court although we vehemently disagree with their decision today.” 

He also took issue what he said were the judges’ “unduly exaggerated language” in dismissing his petition.

“We find it incredible that the judges found against us on all nine (9) grounds and on occasion resulted to unduly exaggerated language to refute our claims,” Mr Odinga said.

The seven judges were unanimous on all the nine issues for determination, and save for rejecting the position that the electoral agency chairman has absolute powers to tally and verify results, the court rejected all other claims by the Azimio team.

They cited what they said were outright lies that could have included forgeries.

Hot air, wild goose chase and red herring were also some of the words used to describe the evidence adduced by the Azimio team.

Verdict 'inspires us'

The Azimio insisted that even with the loss, “the judgment is by no means an end of our movement.”

“In fact, the judgment inspires us to redouble our efforts to transform this country into a prosperous democracy where each and every Kenyan can find their full belonging,” Mr Odinga said.

He thanked his supporters and promised to communicate future plans later.

“We thank our supporters and Kenyans across the country for standing with us. We will be communicating in the near future of our plans to continue our struggle for transparency, accountability and democracy,” the Azimio boss said. 

Mr Odinga, 77, is a grizzled veteran of the campaigns for democracy and human rights, with three stints as a political prisoner of the Moi regime under his belt.

He takes credit for the struggle that heralded the new era of a multi-party system and adoption of the new constitution, but with five unsuccessful presidential bids, this might have been his final attempt on a pursuit that started with his father, the late Jaramogi Oginga Odinga, Kenya’s first Vice President at independence and thereafter of the multi-party struggle in Kenya.

Mr Odinga, a veteran opposition leader and quintessential outsider and icon of protest politics, found himself in the unusual position of establishment candidate.

He secured the support of outgoing President Uhuru Kenyatta who has dumped his own deputy of two terms, and hence finds himself defending the record of the Jubilee government and pledging continuity if elected.

Supreme Court decision

The seven-judge bench led by Chief Justice Martha Koome unanimously threw out a petition by Azimio la Umoja One Kenya Coalition candidate Raila Odinga, who argued that the declaration of Dr Ruto as President-elect was null and void.

While issuing the judgement Monday, CJ Koome said the court is not persuaded that the technology used by the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) while conducting the election failed the test, and that there was no credible evidence showing that there was interference of forms during transmission. 

“No credible evidence meeting standard of proof was adduced by petitioners. Scrutiny report did not reveal any security breaches of the IEBC systems. We are satisfied that the inconsistencies and inaccuracies identified during the audit were addressed,” said the Chief Justice. 

Read the full story on the court's verdict here.