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Justin Muturi defies order to allow Opiyo Wandayi back to House

By Moses Njagih | July 7th 2016
Ugunja MP Opiyo Wandayi

National Assembly Speaker Justin Muturi defied a court order to allow Ugunja MP Opiyo Wandayi back to the House.

Instead he referred the matter to the Committee of Privileges for a determination on the admissibility of the directive of the High Court judge.

Mr Muturi urged the committee to handle the matter and report to the House by July 19.

"...In the meantime, pending the conclusion of the matter by the Committee on Privileges, the honourable member is deemed a stranger and shall not be allowed within the precincts of Parliament except for purposes of attending the summons of the Committee on Privileges as and when required," he directed.

High Court judge George Odunga had on Monday granted Mr Wandayi reprieve after he temporarily stayed the directive Muturi issued on March 16 suspending the lawmaker from the House for the remainder of the session, which ends in December.

Justice Odunga had said the suspension had denied Wandayi's constituents the rights to representation in Parliament and thus directed that he be allowed back pending hearing and determination of the suit he has filed challenging Muturi's actions.

But the speaker chose to play blind to the court order. Muturi said the decision against Wandayi was made by the speaker in exercise of powers which have been bestowed on him by the Constitution and the Standing Orders. "The speaker's hands are tied, his eyes cannot see, his tongue cannot speak and he is subject to the direction of this House," ruled Muturi.

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