Battle to save BBI moves to Court of Appeal

The Battle to Save BBI moves to the Court of Appeal

The Building Bridges Initiative (BBI) team is set to file an appeal in the Court of Appeal over last Thursday’s ruling by a five-judge bench which nullified the Bill which sought to amend the Kenyan constitution.

The High Court bench led by Justice Professor Joel Ngugi and judges Teresia Matheka, George Odunga, Jairus Ngaah and Chacha Mwita pronounced the process unconstitutional, null and void.

In a document dated May 14, the Attorney General Kihara Kariuki, through the Solicitor General Kennedy Ogeto, said he would appeal the decision which he said was of the public interest, and should be suspended until the hearing and determination of the appeal.

According to the ruling, President Uhuru Kenyatta, who initiated the constitutional amendment process together with Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) Party Leader, Raila Odinga do not have the authority under the Constitution of Kenya (2010) to initiate changes to the Constitution as a constitutional amendment, but by Parliament through parliamentary initiative or through popular initiative.

ODM Party Leader, Raila Odinga said Saturday that the High Court did not render the right verdict but urged the public to respect the ruling of the court. President Uhuru Kenyatta is yet to comment on the ruling.

Pro-BBI leaders have also protested the ruling with BBI Secretariat Co-Chairs, Junet Mohamed and Dennis Waweru, saying Kenya is at risk of constitutional crisis following the ruling.

As part of its ruling, the High Court also declared the Junet Mohamed and Dennis Waweru-led team as unconstitutional and unlawful entity which has no legal capacity to initiate any action towards promoting constitutional changes.

The High Court further issued a permanent injunction restraining the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) from undertaking any processes in the constitutional amendment drive.

The decision of the court came barely a week after lawmakers passed the constitutional amendment Bill in Parliament.

Out of the 320 Members of the National Assembly who participated in the voting exercise, 235 supported the bill, 83 voted against it while two abstained. At the Senate, 51 Senators voted in support of the bill while 12 voted against it and 1 abstained.

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