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Supreme Court grants Raila limited access to IEBC servers

Raila Odinga, co-principals Musalia Mudavadi and Moses Wetangula walk to the Supreme Court on Monday morning/CFM NEWS

NAIROBI, Kenya, Aug 28 – Raila Odinga on Monday successfully obtained partial orders from the Supreme Court granting him access to the ICT systems the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission deployed in the August 8 General election.

The court conscious of the need to protect the privacy of the individuals whose data is contained in the systems and the integrity of the system itself, limited the access to “read-only, with leave to copy,” Chief Justice David Maraga saw fit to underscore at the end of the ruling.

Both Odinga and President Uhuru Kenyatta were granted access to the systems and certified copies of the Forms 34As and Bs and C, on which presidential election results at the polling station, constituency level and national level respectively were captured.

Odinga and the wider National Super Alliance fraternity have been agitating for access to the IEBC’s servers since just before President Kenyatta was declared winner of the August 8 polls, on Friday August 11.

Odinga’s legal counsel and party agent at the time, James Orengo, said they were willing to concede defeat should a forensic audit of the systems reveal that there was no interference.

They were however faulted by the IEBC and President Kenyatta’s legal counsel on Saturday for what they saw as a request formally lodged before the courts too late in the day; painting it as a Hail Mary effort to give substance to the Odinga petition.

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In making the application to access the systems, Odinga gave as reasons the high number of spoilt/rejected votes recorded in the election and the variance in the results transmitted versus those captured on the Form 34As, from over 14,000 polling stations.

The court ordered the IEBC to furnish Odinga and President Kenyatta with the GPRS location of each KIEMS kit during the election, their password policy and matrix, continuity and disaster recovery plan, a log-in trail of users for the KIEMS kits and administrative access logs from August 5 to date.

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Odinga had claimed Chris Msando’s passwords, an ICT manager with the IEBC who was killed just days to the election, had been used on Election Day post-humously.

This he claimed as part of his assertion that the IEBC election result transmission system was hacked in favour of President Kenyatta.

And while it also granted the parties access to IEBC’s technical partnership agreements, it declined to grant Odinga’s prayers for access to KIEMS system service provider Safran given they are not party to his suit and are based in France.

The Supreme Court however granted access to the forms on condition that its registrar be present to supervise and submit a report by 5pm Tuesday with submissions from the concerned parties permitted.

An ICT officer of the Judiciary and two independent contractors will also be required to submit a report to the court on the technological aspects by 5pm Tuesday.

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