Azimio la Umoja One Kenya Coalition party presidential candidate Raila Odinga has unveiled a battery of 42 lawyers to help him argue his case against President-elect William Ruto at the Supreme Court.
The former Prime Minister has appointed senior lawyers in the country readying for the fiercest battle at the Supreme Court where he will be facing off with the electoral agency and Dr Ruto’s camps.
Mr Odinga has picked Siaya Governor-elect James Orengo as his lead counsel, the second time that the seasoned lawyer will lead the team on behalf of Mr Odinga.
In 2017, Mr Orengo, a Senior Counsel, successfully argued for the nullification of the election of President Uhuru Kenyatta, the first in Africa and only the fourth in the world that such a decision was made.
Others in the lead team are Senior Counsel Pheroze Nowrojee, former Director of Public Prosecutions Philip Murgor and Nyamira Senator Okongo Omogeni.
“We are pleased that our Presidential Election petition has buoyed the spirits of Kenyans that justice will prevail, and that they did not cast their ballots for Azimio in vain. We have assembled the best team of lawyers in Kenya. The team is led by Lead Counsel SC James Orengo along with SC Pheroze Nowrojee, SC Philip Murgor, and SC Okongo Omogeni,” said Mr Odinga through his Presidential Campaign Secretariat Spokesperson Makau Mutua.
The management of the case which was filed on Monday will be handled by Mr Odinga’s long-term legal adviser, Paul Mwangi.
Others who will be working with Mr Mwangi are lawyers Jackson Awele, Julie Soweto, Velma Maumo, Prof Ben Sihanya, Fred Orego, Tom Macharia, and Makueni senator-elect Dan Maanzo.
Below Mr Orengo’s team will be another even bigger one.
These include Tony Moturi, Dr Judy Oloo, Celestine Opiyo, Arnold Oginga, Barbara Malowa, Addah Awiti, Justus Jura, Leonard Okanda, Plister Omondi, Winnie Makaba, Jerusah Michael, Deborass Bubi, George Ouma, Edward Ambala, Geoffrey Sore, Naila Salim, Tabitha Wathuti, John Njomo, Jacqueline Njoroge, Sperenza Nyawira, Kinyua, Hannington Amol, Ndegwa Njiiru, Mathews Okoth, Kennedy Wanyanga and Kevin Katisya.
Prof Mutua will lead a team of legal consultants that also include C.N Kihara, Dr Adams Oloo, and Caesar Wanjau.
In his petition, Mr Odinga argues there was no outright winner as the turnout figures were manipulated and urges the Supreme Court to nullify the results.
For a third successive election, the former prime minister has taken on the Independent Electoral Boundaries Commission (IEBC) at the top court, seeking nullification of the presidential poll results declared by its chairman Wafula Chebukati.
In their petition, Mr Odinga and his running mate Martha Karua claim that there was a plan, which was hatched in March, to manipulate the election results in Dr Ruto’s favour.
Part of the manipulation, Mr Odinga and Ms Karua hold, is seen in a sample of 42 polling stations in Kiambu and Bomet counties where physical forms differ from what was uploaded onto IEBC’s portal.
In the two counties, Dr Ruto got significantly more votes in the forms uploaded on the IEBC portal, compared to the physical documents, while Mr Odinga’s votes were significantly reduced.
The Azimio duo allege Mr Chebukati has bungled a second successive presidential election, and that he disregarded several election laws in declaring Dr Ruto the President-elect.
The Azimio team argues that the numbers Mr Chebukati relied on in his declaration do not add up when tallied against the vote transmission forms.
Speaking after filing the presidential election petition, Mr Odinga said he was confident justice will prevail as they have enough evidence to put “the thieves” to shame.