BBI appeal hearing begins as proponents tear into High Court judgment

The country’s second-highest court began hearing an appeal launched against High Court judgment invalidating the Building Bridges Initiative (BBI) process on Tuesday.

A seven-judge Court of Appeal bench led by the chamber’s president Justice Daniel Musinga is hearing the landmark case, that is set to run for four days.

The Judges appointed to be part of the bench include Justices Roselyne Nambuye, Fatuma Sichale, Patrick Kiage, Francis Tuiyott, Gatembu Kairu, and Hannah Okwengu.

Already, the proponents of the BBI, led by President Uhuru Kenyatta and Opposition leader Raila Odinga, have started making their case as to why the high court erred in invalidating the process.

In their prayers to the seven judges Tuesday morning, the petitioners want the Appellate court to overturn the decision by High Court’s five-judge bench, saying it is not for the courts to rewrite the constitution.

“Through our appeal, we invite this Honourable court to affirm the constitution as enacted by the people,” Attorney General Kihara Kariuki said in his opening statement.

The AG maintains that the high court judges disregarded clear provisions of the constitution in order to arrive at their decision.

“the learned judges disenfranchised millions of Kenyans voters by ignoring their popular initiative,” He said

The AG, in fact, tore into Justices Joel Ngugi, George Odunga, Jairus Ngaah, Teresia Matheka, and Chacha Mwita over what he termed as personalized attacks against the President that climaxed in the declaration of the BBI process null and void.

He insists that the BBI sponsored Constitution of Kenya Amendment Bill 2020 is legal given that the country’s supreme law allows for the amendment of the constitution through a Parliamentary or Popular initiative.

The government’s chief legal adviser said the petitioners will demonstrate to the court that the high court judges elevated their personal opinions and preferences over the constitution and the will of the people and as such, the Court of Appeal will find it necessary to overturn their May 13 ruling.

  

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