Court of Appeal Judge Francis Tuiyott becomes first judge to uphold High Court ruling on BBI

Friday, August 20th, 2021 11:20 |
The seven-judge bench of the Court of Appeal during the Building Bridges Initiative appeal case hearing on Friday, August 20. Photo/PD/Gerald Ithana

Justice Francis Tuiyott of the Court of Appeal has upheld the High Court ruling on the Building Bridges Initiative (BBI).

While delivering his judgment in an open court on Friday, August 20, Tuiyott said that the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) was not properly constituted to collect and verify the signatures endorsing the constitutional change.

"To hold that the quorum of IEBC can be anything less than 4 Commissioners, is to weaken the commission. I hold that IEBC was not appropriately constituted when it verified the signatures, “Justice Tuiyott said.

"The IEBC Act further provides that the quorum for the IEBC shall be at least five members-and it is upon this statutory provision that the Petitioners predicated their claim," the judge added.

In a highly anticipated Thursday, May 13 ruling, the five-judge bench presided over by Justice Joel Ngugi and comprising of justices George Odunga, Jairus Ngaah, Teresia Matheka and Chacha Mwita ruled in favour of eight petitioners who sought to bar the bill from proceeding to a referendum.

While stating their case, the eight petitioners including economist David Ndii, Kenya National Union of Nurses, Thirdway Alliance, 254Hope, Justus Juma and Moraa Omoke argued that the BBI bill was not a popular initiative but an agenda based on changing political waves within the country.

In the 500 page judgement, the judges analyzed  whether due process was followed when the bill was being drafted, presented to the County Assemblies and eventually Parliament and whether it was a popular initiative that should proceed to a referendum. 

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