Raila defends Tuju, Salat’s meeting with ‘Cherrera Four’
Raila Odinga has defended the meetings politicians allied to his presidential campaign held with the four Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) Commissioners at rented apartments in Nairobi during the election period.
The said meetings came at around the time the four commissioners namely Juliana Cherera, Irene Masit, Justus Nyang’aya and Francis Wanderi disowned the presidential election results read out by IEBC chairman Wafula Chebukati in the August 2022 polls, citing “opaqueness” in the manner they were arrived at.
The four commissioners, save for Irene Masit, have since resigned.
In an interview with Citizen TV, Mr. Odinga defended the visits saying his team was in protest of the results announced by Chebukati and was seeking the ‘the truth’ of what was happening.
“The politicians were justified to visit these commissioners because they were saying ‘No’ (to the results). Our people were justified in finding out the truth, because that was already ex-post facto. The result had already been announced by Mr Chebukati,” Mr. Odinga told Citizen TV.
President William Ruto recently suspended the four commissioners and formed a Tribunal to discuss their conduct. The Tribunal heard that the four embattled commissioners met top Azimio operatives, including Raphael Tuju and Nick Salat, at Yaya Apartments in Kilimani, a Nairobi suburb, days after rejecting the results.
“They (Azimio politicians who visited) wanted to know what actually transpired. They are making too much noise about it in the so-called tribunal,” said Mr. Odinga.
The Azimio leader further took a swipe at the Justice Muchelule-led tribunal which was formed by President Ruto, terming it as illegal,” said Raila.
“That tribunal itself is illegal, the way it was constituted, the matter was rushed and before the bill was even taken to Parliament, the so-called Victor who brought the bill had already condemned the four commissioners as people who had put the country in turmoil,” he said.
Mr Odinga however speculated that the fate of the four commissioners had already been sealed when the petition was being filed.
He further dismissed the ongoing hearings as an utter “charade,” terming Justice Mucheule as someone whose conduct also needs to be looked into.
“We knew it was a charade and they couldn’t expect any justice before the tribunal. Justice Mchelule himself has got integrity issues. His name was mentioned in the Akasha trial in the U.S,” noted Odinga
“He has got a big file on him by the FBI yet he is now the angel trying the other commissioners? It’s a charade and we don’t expect any justice from that kind of tribunal.” He added