Case questioning Raila Odinga’s eligibility to contest thrown out

by Wakili Liam
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Raila Odinga, Azimio La Umoja Presidential Candidate

IEBC Dispute resolution Committee has dismissed an application that was challenging the eligibility of Azimio la Umoja – One Kenya Coalition Party presidential candidate Raila Odinga to contest in the August polls.

A ruling delivered by the Titus Tiego, chaired committee, threw out a request to revoke Raila’s clearance to vie, saying that the committee has no jurisdiction to hear and determine the matter filed by Third Way Alliance Party Leader Dr Ekuru Aukot.

“This committee has no jurisdiction to hear this complaint. We, therefore, dismiss it with no orders to cost,” the chair ruled.

“We, therefore, find that the allegations of use of public resources by state officers are not in the remit of the jurisdiction of this committee.”

While dismissing the complaint, Tiego stated that its jurisdiction is based on the eligibility of a candidate and so the committee has no jurisdiction to entertain the nature of Ekuru’s complaint.

The decision comes after Odinga said the tribunal lacks the authority to hear and determine issues raised by Aukot.

“The complaint is misinformed, unmaintainable, lacks merit and has been filed mala fides (in bad faith). It is a gross abuse of the process of this tribunal and is liable for striking out instantly,” Odinga said.

Through lawyer Velma Maumo, Odinga stated that the chairman of IEBC Wafula Chebukati cleared him for the contest after ascertaining that he has duly complied with all the requirements regarding the nomination of the candidate as spelt out in the Elections (General) Regulations.

Aukot had filed the complaint seeking to bar Odinga from contesting for the country’s top seat.

In the complaint, Aukot argues that Odinga is ineligible because he is openly sponsored by the State “to the extent that his candidature is advertised in the Presidential website, which is hosted using public resources”.

Aukot also alleged that public officers such as Cabinet Secretaries have openly campaigned for Odinga.

He also claimed that Raila is unqualified to vie for the Presidency since he is not a member of the Azimio Coalition Party.

To him, Azimio is a corporate entity as envisaged by section 12 of the Political Parties Act, 2011.

The membership of the coalition comprises 26 parties which include Orange Democratic Movement (ODM), Jubilee, KANU, Wiper Democratic Movement Party among others.

According to Aukot, the 100 per cent membership of Azimio la Umoja being political parties outrightly bars Azimio from fielding a presidential candidate for an election.

“The members of this coalition political party are corporate entities and not citizens of Kenya. Corporate entities such as membership of Azimio have no constitutional right to vote or even be entered into the register of voters,” Aukot said.

He insisted that if Azimio was to field a candidate, it has to be one of its corporate entities which in itself, he feels is a misnomer and unknown to the law.

But Raila said Section 2 of the Political Parties Act defines a political party to include a Coalition Political Party and Azimio is a party whose membership consists of various political parties.

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