The Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) will spend nearly Ksh520 million of taxpayers’ money to defend President-elect William Ruto’s win.
Its chairperson, Wafula Chebukati, is also seeking to defend his career and his reputation and the credibility of the election he oversaw.
In response to the petition filed by Azimio La Umoja presidential candidate, Raila Odinga and his running mate, Martha Karua, IEBC hired 26 law firms which will reportedly earn Ksh20 million each.
Other than IEBC and Chebukati, the batter of lawyers will also represent the Commission CEO Marjan Marjan, and two other commissioners, Boya Molu and Abdi Guliye.
22 of the 26 law firms were said to have been hired to represent the Commisssion and the rest will defend Chebukati.
The wrangles that led to the rise of splinter groups within the Commission also resurfaced during the filing of responses at the court, with the four dissenting commissioners hung out to dry. Led by the vice chairperson, Juliana Cherera, the group comprising commissioners Irene Masit, Justus Nyang’aya and Francis Wanderi reportedly sought their own representation at the apex court.
The four rejected the presidential results read by Chebukati. Francis Wanderi who spoke to Nation Africa insisted that they were still members of the Commission and ought to enjoy the same legal representation as the others.
“They should because we are staff and the roles we played were dictated by the Commission,” Wanderi lamented.
Irene Masit, Justus Nyang’aya and Juliana Cherera were reported to have hired their own lawyers but were still unsure whether IEBC will foot their bills. Representing commissioners who have accused the chairperson of bungling the elections appears to be a tall order for the Commission whose credibility is on the line.
The four commissioners walked out of the Bomas of Kenya and headed to Serena Hotel hotel to disown the results owing to an alleged opaque nature they were handled.
The Raila, Martha petition seeks to invalidate William Ruto as the president-elect as announced on Monday, August 15 at the Bomas of Kenya where the duo was a no-show. A day after the declaration was made, Odinga announced he would take legal action terming the results null and void.
The legal battle will see the leaders spend millions on hiring reputable lawyers to win the case. Raila Odinga’s legal team has 42 lawyers while Ruto has 54 lawyers. According to lawyer Apollo Mboya,a lead lawyer can pocket approximately Ksh10 million but this varies as each lawyer has a different rate card.