, NAIROBI, Kenya, Aug 21 – A petition by the Council of Governors challenging summons by the Senate has been referred to Chief Justice Willy Mutunga to appoint a bench to hear it.
High Court judge Isaac Lenaola said that the issues raised by the aggrieved Governors could ably be determined by a three-judge bench.
The Council of Governors had moved to court seeking an order to quash the decision of the Senate to issue summons against Governors Isaac Ruto (Bomet), Kiambu’s William Kabogo and Jack Ranguma of Kisumu County for refusing to appear before the Sessional County Public Accounts and Investments committee which is probing the audit reports of the 47 counties.
Murang’a Governor Mwangi wa Iria who had also been summoned by Senators chose to appear before the committee and following his appearance, the suspension of funds to his county was revoked.
The Governors are represented by Ahmednasir Abdullahi who told justice Lenaola that the Senate has usurped its constitutional power of the County Assemblies, saying the Senate is not the accounting officer capable of issuing the summons.
He pointed out that county executive committee and chief officers at the counties were the officers who supposed to appear before it and not the Governors as the Senators had demanded.
Abdullahi submitted that, “as via a resolution passed in the house on 14 August 2014 purported to ask the National Treasury and the Controller of Budget not to release funds to the three counties.”
He went on to say, “the resolution is illegal and contravenes the Constitution and if the same is adopted, the operations at the counties may ground to a halt on account of the said unconstitutional actions of the Senate.”
The Governors have complained that the Senators were belittling them.
The judge directed that the case be mentioned on Monday.