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Attorney General files a notice of Appeal on BBI ruling

NATIONAL
By Winfrey Owino | May 16th 2021
Office of Attorney General Paul Kihara, through Solicitor General Kennedy Ogeto, has filed a notice of Appeal. [File, Standard]

The office of the Attorney General intends to appeal the decision by a five-judge bench that ruled against the Building Bridges Initiative (BBI) process.

The bench had on Thursday, May 13, ruled that the BBI process was unconstitutional, null and void.

In a document dated May 14, Solicitor General Kennedy Ogeto said that the office was dissatisfied with the court’s judgement and that it would appeal the court’s decision.

In the document, the government’s legal office said that it will move to the appellate court because the matter was of immense public interest. 

“Unless this Application for stay of execution of the order is heard urgently, there is a real risk,” the document read in part.

Besides, the Attorney General filed a separate application before the Court of Appeal to suspend the High Court’s verdict on BBI.

He is seeking to have the ruling suspended until the hearing and determination of the appeal.

The five judges on the bench were Joel Ngugi, George Odunga, Jairus Ngaah, Chacha Mwita and Teresia Matheka pronounced 17 issues on the BBI ruling.

BBI was constituted jointly by President Uhuru Kenyatta and ODM leader Raila Odinga following the March 9, 2018 handshake between the duo. [File, Standard]

The major issue raised was the President’s role in initiating change through a popular initiative.

Jointly, the judges ruled that constitutionally, President Uhuru Kenyatta cannot use popular initiative to vouch for constitutional changes.

In the ruling, the bench said that the process did not go through public participation as is required by the law. They recommended that Kenyans are provided with printed copies for a clear comprehension of the document.

Additionally, the five legal minds also pronounced the 14-member BBI task force mandated to review areas to be amended in the constitution as illegally constituted.

The pronouncement of the popular document as unconstitutional by the courts exposed the weakness of the legal brain trust around President Uhuru Kenyatta and former Prime Minister Raila Odinga.

BBI was constituted jointly by President Uhuru Kenyatta and ODM leader Raila Odinga following the March 9, 2018 handshake between the duo.

The BBI was an initiative by the duo in their efforts to try and unite the country and end the violence that mars general elections in the country by doing away with the ‘winner takes it’ all principle.

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