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Don’t strangle the baby, PLO Lumumba tells Supreme Court judges

Prof Patrick Loch Otieno Lumumba ended the defence of the Independent Electoral and Boundaries with a flourish and on a high note, earning the recognition of the Chief Justice.

Chief Justice David Maraga told the well-known orator: “Mr Lumumba, you were clear,” to which Prof Lumumba responded: “May the Lord bless you.”

Prof Lumumba had his colleagues in the court alert and gallery alive as he sought to demolish the case laid out by the team representing Raila Odinga, President Uhuru Kenyatta’s main challenger at the last polls.

The former director of the anti-corruption commission started off by telling the judges that: “The pleadings before you suffer from lack of focus and particularity.”

WEIGHT OF EVIDENCE

He also characterised the affidavits sworn by Mr Odinga and his team as full of hearsay and the case as built on stilts “that must collapse under the weight of evidence”.

Prof Lumumba dismissed the formula presented to the court by Nasa lawyer Otiende Amollo as Pythagoras Theorem and said no election was decided on the basis of such a formula.

He also attempted to dismantle the assertions detailed by Nasa in an affidavit by one of their experts detailing instances where Mr Odinga’s votes were reduced or President Kenyatta’s added.

From the affidavit, he said, only 15,000 of the more than  15 million votes cast in the elections were contested.

“No court in the world has ever voided an election based on the minimalist approach. These are petty grievances,” said Prof Lumumba.

He also attempted to bat away the allegations that his client’s systems for the transmission of results were hacked.

FAILED TO PROVE

“The rule is that he who alleges must prove. What the petitioners have made is allegations, made many things  but have failed to prove,” he added.

“Kenyans gave birth to a baby. IEBC’s role is midwifery. The baby is alive and well. You are being asked to strangle the baby. Decline the invitation.”

He said Mr Odinga’s video on interviews with Chris Msando, the IT manager at the IEBC who was killed days to the elections, “offends all the rules”.

“Kenyans turned out in large numbers on the 8th of August and expressed their will. This court should be very cautious to overturn that will unless it is demonstrated that will was subverted,” he added.

“The totality of our submissions are that we have demonstrated that this petition is destitute of merit. Because it is destitute of merit, it should only suffer one fate – rejection.”