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Duo moves to court to bar new EACC officials

NAIROBI
By - | January 29th 2013

By Isaiah Lucheli

Nairobi, Kenya: Two Nairobi residents want the recently appointed Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission (EACC) officials to be restrained from discharging their duties.

Samuel Nyabundo and Clement Odera have moved to high court seeking to bar the commissioners who were sworn in by Chief Justice Willy Mutunga from assuming office terming their appointment as unconstitutional.

They submit that the whole process of the nomination, vetting and appointment to office of the chairperson and members of the EACC was unprocedural, unlawful and tainted with vested interests and failed to meet the aspirations of Kenyans.

In their petition under certificate of urgency, they submitted that the commissioners’ names were forwarded to parliament for vetting outside the time prescribed by the law without the President seeking extension as stipulated in the EACC Act.

“The selection panel presented the names to the President and the Prime Minister on November 10, 2011, they were picked by the two principals on December 1 the same year whereas the deadline was supposed to be December 25, 2011,” they submitted.

They added that the fact that Okong’o Omogeni, who was ranked by the interviewing panel, was overlooked and Mumo Matemu who had unresolved integrity concerns chosen raises doubt on the integrity of the whole process.

The petitioners submitted that the EACC Act was poorly drafted and noted that it was inconsistent with the Anti-Corruption and Economics Crimes Act and was exposed to the statutory corporations Act and executive interference.

In the absence of the chairperson and the secretary, they added that the decision made by the commission would not be executed properly and have the force of law and legitimacy.

The petitioners are seeking to have the court declare that the commissioners are in office illegally and declare their appointment null and void as they were appointed outside the stipulated time by the Act.

“The petitioners are seeking a declaration that the office of the president is an institution bound by the constitution and is under duty to respect, uphold and defend the constitution,” they said through their lawyer Joseph Makori Omboga.

They have sued the Attorney General and EACC while EACC commissioners Irene Cheptoo Keino and Professor Jane Kerubo Onsongo have been enjoined as interested parties.

“The petitioners are seeking a declaration by the court that the commission as is currently constituted is unable to discharge its mandate under the constitution or under the EACC Act.

They are also opposing the assuming of office by Keino and Onsongo saying the commission as currently constituted was unconstitutional and the two commissioners could not assume office without a chairperson and purported assumption was against the EACC Act.

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