Senator Omtatah moves to court to stop hiring of IEBC commissioners

The Act established a seven-member IEBC selection panel made up of two persons from the Parliamentary Service Commission, one nominated by the Public Service Commission, Political Parties Liaison Committee and the Law Society of Kenya, and two nominated by religious organisations.

After the law came into force, President William Ruto on February 27 appointed Bethuel Sugut, Euralia Atieno, Charity Kisotu, Evans Misati, Benson Ngugi, Nelson Makanda and Fatuma Saman as members of the Selection Panel.

But Omtatah submits that as a member of the Senate Committee on Justice and Legal Affairs, they received the Bill from the National Assembly and subjected it to public participation before proposing changes, including the exclusion of representative from Political Parties Liaison Committee.

According to the Senator, the committee's chair Hillary Sigei tabled the report on January 19 during the morning session, but Speaker Amason Kingi directed that it be debated and voted during the afternoon session.

"We were surprised when we resumed the afternoon sitting when the Speaker in collusion with the chairman withdrew the report on our recommendations and directed that the report be passed in its original form without our input," he says.

He wants the court to declare the Senate Speaker ought to have rejected the withdrawal of the committee's report since it was already the property of the House.

Omtatah also wants a declaration that the IEBC (Amendment) Act 2023 is unconstitutional, invalid, null and void.

The court directed Omtatah to serve the Senate Speaker, Attorney General and the selection panel for them to respond before the hearing today.