BBI: Court of Appeal President Daniel Musinga warns parties in the case

Court of Appeal President Daniel Musinga began his stance with a warning shot to all counsels and parties involved in the Building Bridges Initiative (BBI) appeal case.

He, on Wednesday, June 2, during the Court of Appeal case management conference, advised against indignity and prosecuting the BBI case in the media, while asking the involved parties to allow the court to make a fair and properly informed decision without causing unnecessary tension. 

“Let us be civil, respect one another, and be balanced in our comments. This is an important Judicial process that must be handled in a very civil manner,” Justice Musinga said.

The Appellate Court President has set end of June to early July as the date for hearing the BBI appeal case.

He said: “The earliest we can begin the proceedings is around June 23. It is however not a specific date, please bear that in mind.”

From left: Judges Roseline Nambuye, Daniel Musinga and Hannah Okwengu at the Supreme Court during the mention of the BBI appeal case. [Collins Kweyu, Standard]

The Court will shortly give directions on how the Building Bridges Initiative (BBI) appeal case will be heard.

A three-judge bench comprising Justices Daniel Musinga, Roselyn Nambuye and Hannah Okwengu is expected to determine the viability of hearing the appeals, length of submissions filed and amount of time required for parties to prepare and exchange submissions.

There are currently four applications before court challenging the nullification of the Constitutional Amendment Bill, 2020 by the High Court in May.

All parties, represented by a myriad of lawyers, appeared before the three judges to bring to light some of the issues in the appeals before proceeding to a hearing.

The issue of time was a major contention as parties requested a specific number of days to prepare and submit their responses.

Senior Counsel James Orengo, appearing for ODM leader Raila Odinga and the BBI Secretariat, requested four days.

Orengo: “Looking at the judgement, there were nearly 23 declarations made affecting our two clients. The hearing of this petition will be done in the full glare of the public, given that it is about our Constitution, our suggestion would be four days for appeal.”

Justice Nambuye clarified why the court was prioritising the BBI appeal case, saying it had a weightier public appeal factor.

“It is not that we are favouring these proceedings, it is because of the circumstances. It is something we have done before; each case depends on its own circumstances,” she said.

Nambuye also appealed to the counsels to direct their focus to the core issues so that they (judges) can understand where the High Court went ‘wrong.’

“Assist us to understand the case and address your issues appropriately,” she told lawyers.

Justice Musinga also threw a question to the counsels on whether they would prefer a physical or virtual hearing. Most of the lawyers advocated for an in-person hearing.

 Lawyers at the Supreme Court, Nairobi during the mention of the BBI appeal case. [Collins Kweyu, Standard]

There are four applications, filed by President Uhuru Kenyatta and Raila Odinga, the BBI Secretariat, the Attorney General and the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC).

Lawyers Waweru Gatonye and Mohammed Nyaoga are representing Kenyatta, while James Orengo is representing Odinga and the BBI Secretariat. Githu Muigai and Eric Gumbo, on the other hand, are appearing for the IEBC.

Others include Solicitor-General Kennedy Ogeto, lawyers Nelson Havi, Paul Mwangi, and Martha Karua.