NAIROBI, Kenya, Sept 24 – A petition contesting the dissolution of Parliament has been referred to Chief Justice David Maraga for constitution of an uneven bench.
In his ruling rendered on Thursday, Justice Weldon Korir also suspended the implementation of Maraga’s advice pending further direction by the court, or the bench which subsequently takes up the matter after appointed by the Chief Justice.
The ruling by Justice Korir followed an application by two petitioners who sought a conservatory order staying the enforcement of Maraga’s recommendation before their substantive petition challenging the Chief Justice’s decision is heard.
“I have carefully considered the petition and that it raises substantial questions of law under Article 165(3)(d) of the Constitution. Consequently, in exercise of the powers bestowed upon this Court under Article 165(4) of the Constitution, I certify this petition as one requiring to be heard by an uneven number of judges, being not less than three, assigned by the Chief Justice,” Justice Korir ruled.
The matter is set be mentioned on October 7 before the assigned panel of Judges.
Justice Korir noted that failure to suspend the implementation of the advice could prejudice the petitioners’ case.
His order allows President Uhuru Kenyatta to defer action on Maraga’s advice, a matter that had elicited mixed reactions in the country.
Already, the Law Society of Kenya (LSK) had given the President until October 12 to dissolve Parliament failing which the lobby vowed to lead a protest.
LSK further wrote to the National Treasury asking for the suspension of national lawmakers’ salaries effective October 11.
“We have also asked the Parliamentary Commission to ensure that the two houses of Parliament are closed to members of the National Assembly and Senate effective October 12 because these individuals will no longer have the authority of Kenyans to hold themselves as Parliamentarians,” LSK President Nelson Havi said on Thursday.