Roots party leader George Wajackoyah has heaped praises on Azimio la Umoja- One Kenya coalition leader Raila Odinga, saying the opposition chief saved his life in the 90s.
Wajackoyah said Raila and Siaya Governor James Orengo helped him flee the country after the assassination of Foreign Affairs Minister Robert Ouko in February 1990.
According to Wajackoyah, former United States ambassador to Kenya Smith Hempstone was also instrumental in securing his asylum abroad.
"I am here because of Raila. I live today because of Raila. If Raila was not there I would not have had the opportunity to be alive today. Raila and James Orengo saved me when I was about to be killed," Wajackoyah.
"Baba (Raila) and United States ambassador to Kenya Smith Hempstone rescued me from this country and took me abroad after the murder of Ouko (Robert Ouko)," he added.
The lawyer spoke on Monday during a rally organized by the Azimio la Umoja - One Kenya coalition at the Kamukunji Grounds in Nairobi.
In a past interview with Daily Nation, the controversial lawyer-cum-politician claimed that he was forced to go into exile from 1991 to 2012, with stints in Britain and the US, for fears that state operatives were after his life.
According to Wajackoyah, he was at the time serving as an inspector in the dreaded Special Branch, the revered intelligence unit in President Daniel Moi’s era.
He was among those picked by his then-boss James Kanyotu to investigate the killing of Ouko who was found murdered in a bush near his home in Koru, Kisumu county, in unclear circumstances. The murder had elicited outrage from members of the public who demanded answers from the government.
Wajackoyah claimed that some senior State officers were keen to cover up the murder by eliminating all investigating officers.
“When Ouko was murdered, there were a lot of contradictory stories. I was commissioned by Mr (James) Kanyotu, the then director of intelligence, to find out from the system who might have been involved. We did what we did,” Wajackoyah said last year.
“Then there was some attempt to cover up the Ouko story and as usual, it was on the system’s side because you cannot alter or doctor the gadgets that we were using, especially the telephone communications that we were using at that time."
He said the investigators were being pursued because they had made a breakthrough in the probe.
“So when we found out what we found out, those who wanted us to cover up and due to a change of guard in the intelligence service at that time with the retirement of Kanyotu, things went upside down. I was detained and tortured properly.
“With a lot of issues that were going on, sometimes they would blindfold me in a place I didn’t know and open my eyes at the city mortuary at night. That was maximum psychological and emotional torture.”
Wajackoyah then decided to flee the country to save his skin.
He was among the four presidential candidates who participated in last year's general election and lost to President William Ruto of Kenya Kwanza Alliance.
Speaking on Monday, he criticized the government policies including the lifting of the ban on Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs), saying the products are not safe for Kenyans.
On his part, Raila rejected the outcome of the August 2022 presidential election, saying his victory was stolen.
Raila, who was accompanied by several Azimio principals including his running mate Martha Karua and Wiper party leader Kalonzo Musyoka said the coalition does not recognise Ruto as President of Kenya.
The ODM party leader said he has evidence to believe that he won by more than two million votes.
"We as Azimio reject the 2022 election results totally. We can not and will not recognise the Kenya Kwanza regime and we consider the Kenya Kwanza government illegitimate," Raila said.
He claimed Ruto was rigged in a wider scheme involving the outgoing chairman of the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) chairman Wafula Chebukati.
"I commend all Kenyans who carried out the sacred and patriotic duty and cast their ballot peacefully. You expected IEBC to transmit, tally and announce the results in accordance with the law, free of bias and corruption. But IEBC and the then chairman Wafula Chebukati and two commissioners Abdi Guliye and Boya Molu and CEO Marjan Hussein Marjan formed a cartel within IEBC to the exclusion of four new commissioners, disregarded the votes you cast and cooked their own results," Raila said."The presidential results announced unilaterally by Mr Chebukati on August 15 were entirely made up by him and had nothing to do with the votes you cast."
According to Raila, the Supreme Court was captured by cartels and made to dismiss his petition challenging Ruto's victory as Kenya's fifth President.
Raila said IEBC whistleblowers had confirmed to the Azimio team that the coalition won with a landslide.
He demanded the entire infrastructure, records of the 2022 elections in the IEBC be made public and audited by an impartial body.