, NAIROBI, Kenya, Sep 22 – Justice George Odunga has quashed a petition tabled before Parliament’s Finance Committee to probe the conduct of Auditor General Edward Ouko.
The court has set aside the petition seeking Ouko’s removal from office, on grounds that he was not accorded a fair hearing as required under the Fair Administrative Act and access to information.
According to Justice Odunga, “the right to cross-examine a person is important as that of a right to a fair hearing.”
He added that where a constitutional body has made a mistake, the court has a constitutional mandate to bring it back on track.
However, the court gave the parliamentary committee the green light to probe the Auditor General afresh, but to do so within confines of the law.
Ouko moved to court to challenge his removal from office, accusing the Speaker of the National Assembly of tabling the petition for debate yet he was not given sufficient time to defend himself and was not told who his accusers were and the nature of the allegations.
In his suit papers, Ouko had argued that the petition for his removal was fatally flawed and inadmissible.
According to him, it contravenes the National Assembly Standing Orders.
Ouko has since appeared before the parliamentary committee following accusations by Emmanuel Mwagambo Mwagonah who has accused him of wasting public funds by accumulating a Sh1 million phone bill on his iPad while abroad.
The Auditor General has also been faulted for frequently travelling out of the country for private reasons, managing the office remotely, resulting to high telephone and Internet costs.