NAIROBI, March 19 (Xinhua) -- Kenya's Prime Minister Raila Odinga on Tuesday moved to court under fresh application seeking to compel the electoral body to allow forensic audit of its Information and Technology (IT) systems before the formal hearing of his petition.
Odinga through his lawyer, George Oraro said the Independent Electoral and Boundary Commission (IEBC) which oversaw the March 4 general elections has given conflicting reasons for failure of the Electronic Voter Identification (EVID), Biometric Voter Registration (BVR), Results Transmission System (RTS) and Results Presentation System (RPS) and other electronic systems and thus the urgent need for parties to place empirical forensic evidence to assist the Supreme Court in making a decision.
"Prior to the elections, the IEBC assured all stakeholders that the system will be transparent, free from manipulation and that not only would there be no unauthorized persons voting but that the transmission of results would be simple, fair and insulated from manipulation by any person," Oraro said in the application.
He said the crucial information Odinga is seeking from their agents, service providers and contractors will facilitate a forensic audit of the IEBC IT systems prior to the hearing of the presidential petition which was filed last Saturday.
Odinga is also seeking to be given all simcards used in each of the hand held devices used for electronic voter identification, each of the laptops or PCs, each of the GSM/GPRS/Edge/Satellite mobile telephone handsets used for results transmission system at each of the 33,4400 polling stations in the just concluded elections.
The lawyer said the Coalition of Reform and Democracy (CORD) which is headed by Odinga was forced to take the action due to the electoral body's failure to stick to its promise it made to all political parties that the electronic system will be secure and free from manipulation.
The development came as Supreme Court is expected to convene on Wednesday to give directions on the three petitions before it, related to the March 4 presidential elections.
In one of the petitions filed last Saturday, Odinga accused the IEBC of negligence and failure to conduct free and fair elections in the March 4 elections, asking the Supreme Court to set aside the results of the presidential election as announced by Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) on March 9.
He is also urging the court to declare null the announcement of Uhuru Kenyatta as President-elect and William Ruto as Deputy President-elect respectively and void the whole electoral process leading to that declaration.
The petition said that the voter register was severally altered as to make it difficult to tell which one was used finally.
For the purposes of the March 4 elections, Odinga said, the registration of voters was carried out between Nov. 19, 2012 to Dec. 18, 2012; at the end of which the IEBC announced that 14,337, 399 persons had registered as voters.
Lawyers representing petitioners and respondents in the petitions have been summoned for the mention of the cases before the six judges of the Supreme Court. The mention will be in open court and is expected to commence at 10 a.m. on Wednesday.
Odinga said some of the reasons given by the IEBC for the electronic voter identification equipment's failure are that the batteries of the handheld devices had failed and/or had not been charged.
"The batteries of the hand held devices used at the polling stations for biometric identification of voters either failed or were not charged or could not hold charge for a sufficient period of time," he said.
Some 12.3 million Kenyans voted in presidential elections in which Uhuru Kenyatta narrowly avoided a run-off by winning 50.07 percent of the ballots against his close challenger, Odinga who garnered 43.4 percent.
The historic elections were being watched closely by both local and international poll monitors who have said the elections were credible and called on the political leadership to maintain peace as they await the presidential petition at the Supreme Court.
Oraro said the Supreme Court needs to be informed of the real reasons of the IEBC's electronic voter transmission's failure and its impact on the outcome of the presidential elections to enable the judges to reach an informed decision over the dispute.
He said the electoral body midway abandoned process which was being watched closely by Kenyans and international and that some of the reasons it gave that the system had failed due to data overload was not satisfactory.
The March 4 polls were the very first to be held since the 2007/ 2008 post election violence, when, within a 7-week period following the polls, and as a direct consequence of the contested results, thousands of civilians were victims of serious crimes, including killings, sexual and gender based violence, forced internal displacements, destruction of properties.
The elections were important also because these elections were the very first to be organized under Kenya's 2010 Constitution, which provides for safeguards against unfair, insecure, corrupted, non transparent or inefficiently administrated elections.