The Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) says its chairperson Wafula Chebukati was justified to announce the presidential results on Monday, August 15, 2022, despite the walkout of four commissioners and the subsequent chaos that erupted at the national tallying centre in Bomas of Kenya.
Addressing the Supreme Court on Friday, IEBC lawyer George Murugu stated that the chairperson's intention was to conclude the exercise as soon as possible since the tallying process had been concluded.
He also pointed out that the chairperson and some of the employees of the commission were under threat due to a security breach at Bomas and alleged harassment from security agencies.
"He (Chebukati) made considerations concerning the security of his staff, who at the time were suffering arrests, abductions and injuries. In his mind it was prudent to conclude the exercise since Article 138 (3c) had been fully satisfied," Murugu stated.
Murugu was responding to a question posed by Justice Isaac Lenaola on why the chairperson couldn't postpone the exercise since he had one more day to announce the results, before the lapse of the 7-day timeline stipulated in the constitution.
Lenaola hard-pressed the commission to explain why the chairperson was in a hurry to announce the results and the failure to reach out to the four 'dissenting' commissioners with a view of building consensus.
"I know that the events of August 15 are in our minds but remember that there was an extra day where Mr Chebukati could have declared the result.
"Why did you not wait until that day, reach out to the commissioners - now named the four - try to reach a consensus to address the questions on the 27 Constituencies so that this suspicion would not have been an issue? Is there any other reason why you did not take an advantage of the extra day to do what you have to do?" Justice Lenaola posed.
Chebukati explains why results from 27 constituencies were not read
In his affidavit, Chebukati told the court that the results of the remaining 27 constituencies were ready but couldn't be announced because of the chaos that broke out at the tallying centre.
Chebukati's sentiments were corroborated by IEBC commissioner Abdi Guliye who had been tasked with reading the results before the final announcement of the presidential results.
“In a rather surprising turn of events, while proceeding towards the podium, we encountered a crowd which made it difficult to access and settle at the podium. With the prevailing chaos at the podium after the named persons stormed the podium, Prof. Guliye was unable to announce the remaining 27 constituency results and I was similarly unable to declare the final results. Our security was overrun and we had to scamper for safety,” Chebukati said.
IEBC maintains that Kenya Kwanza Alliance leader William Ruto won the August 9 polls and the petition by Azimio One Kenya coalition flag bearer Raila Odinga and his running mate Martha Karua and six others should be dismissed.