By WILLIS OKETCH
Kenya: Justice Philip Waki has pulled out of a case in which the separatist Mombasa Republican Council (MRC) is challenging a constitutional court judgment that rejected its bid to hold a secession referendum in the coastal region.
In the application filed in 2010, MRC sought orders for a self-determination referendum and to bar the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission from registering voters at the Coast for the last General Election.
In November last year, the three-judge bench rejected both motions, prompting the separatists to appeal. This in turn caused the Chief Justice to constitute a bench of five to hear the case.
Meanwhile, Justice Waki also sits on a separate seven-judge bench listening to an appeal by the State against a June 17 ruling lifting the 2009 ban on the separatist group.
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Yesterday, Justice Waki said he was disqualifying himself from the MRC appeal because one party was relying on documents from the commission on the post-election violence that he chaired in 2008.
The judge pulled out when the hearing of two appeals that were filed in Mombasa started in Nairobi.
The judges who will hear the MRC appeal are justices William Ouko, Steve Kairu, GD Kariuki and Rosylene Nambuyi.