Witness in Kisumu poll petition claims he hacked IEBC server

Lawyer James Orengo puts him to task to show evidence of hacking the servers.

Lawyer James Orengo cross examines former Kisumu Governor Jack Ranguma on November 7, 2017 in a petition filed against Governor Nyong'o's win in the August 8 elections. A witness appearing for Mr Ranguma has claimed that he hacked IEBC servers. PHOTO | ONDARI OGEGA | NATION MEDIA GROUP 

IN SUMMARY

  • Mr Levy Otieno Oduor, an information technology expert, claimed to be an employee of Safaricom.
  • He defended his action by arguing that public interest overrode ethics.
  • Mr Otieno failed to provide evidence of replacement of the allegedly deleted forms 37A with new ones.
  • He could not ascertain at what particular time he first accessed the server.

A witness has stunned the High Court in Kisumu after he claimed that he hacked into the electoral commission’s server during the August elections.

Mr Levy Otieno Oduor, an information technology expert and who claimed to be an employee of Safaricom, defended his action by arguing that public interest overrode ethics.

The revelation surprised nearly everyone in Court during the hearing of a case in which former Kisumu Governor Jack Ranguma has challenged the victory of his successor Prof Anyang’ Nyong’o.

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Mr Ranguma’s lawyer, Mr Richard Onsongo, had asked him who benefitted from the alleged fraud.

Mr Otieno pointed out that when he hacked the server, the beneficiary was Prof Nyong’o.

DELETION

“When I accessed the server I realised that there was deletion of files which were form 37A which gave room for fresh ones to be uploaded,” said Mr Otieno.

He added that the person he found performing the alleged ‘fraud’ used the log in ‘nmigot@iebc.org.ke.

“I don’t know the relationship between the person who logged in and the respondent, but what I know is there was a Nicholas Migot in Prof Nyong’o’s campaigns.”

Mr Otieno who said he was an ‘IT specialist’ working for Safaricom, was dressed casually in a white shirt and a black jacket, a pair of grey trousers complemented with a designer pair of black shoes. He carried a laptop back pack.

SHARP

His way of answering questions was detailed and exhibited high level of sharpness, occasionally throwing the packed court into a laughter and forcing Justice David Majanja to call the room to order on a number occasions.

The court was divided into two factions with one enjoying the antics displayed by the young man, somehow finding a hero in him, while the other faction felt what he did was wrong and felt he incriminated himself following his admission.

During cross examination, he revealed that he was given passwords to access IEBC servers by a contact he did not mention.

“I was not alone while accessing the server. I had a contact who was helping me. I used FileZilla to access logs,” said Mr Otieno.

Earlier during Mr Ranguma’s cross-examination, the former county boss claimed that Prof Nyong’o connived with IEBC to deny him his deserved win.

RIGHT AND WRONG

IEBC lawyer Edwin Mukele took close to an hour trying to deduce how the IT expert hacked into his client’s servers.

Mr Mukele asked the IT expert if he knew that accessing or attempting to hack the servers was unlawful, but Mr Otieno told the IEBC lawyer that he was right and wrong at the same time.

“I have a responsibility as a Kenyan citizen to ensure that the efficacy of a free, fair and credible election is achieved. I had a role and I played it well,” he told Mr Mukele.

But when Mr Orengo put him to task to show evidence of hacking the servers, Mr Otieno could not ascertain at what particular time he first accessed the server.

NO DOCUMENTS

He also indicated that he did not have any statutory documents showing the authentic results as required by the Constitution.

Prof Nyong’o’s lawyer, Siaya Senator James Orengo, also established that Mr Otieno was using a spread sheet in recording results he got from the servers.

However, the sheet was not signed, making Mr Orengo to question whether the IT expert was its original author.

Mr Orengo continued to poke holes into Mr Otieno’s claims and questioned what evidence showed that indeed he hacked into the server.

“The beauty about science is that it leaves a trail of transaction. What footprint did you leave when you accessed the server?” posed Mr Orengo to the witness who was silent for a while before he asked to be given a chance to access IEBC servers again (to prove his claims).

NO EVIDENCE

When prodded further, Mr Otieno failed to provide evidence of replacement of the allegedly deleted forms 37A with new ones.

Mr Orengo also put him to task on the results he recorded from the server since he claimed he had recorded them per polling centre.

“All the data in the forms are recorded from polling stations and not centres. Whatever you did could be generation of fabricated evidence,” said Mr Orengo.

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