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Court of Appeal President Justice Daniel Musinga/FILE - Judiciary Media Service


7-judge bench to hear BBI appeal: Justice Musinga

NAIROBI, Kenya, June 2 Consolidated appeals against the Constitutional Court judgement invaliding the Building Bridges Initiative (BBI) constitution amendment bid will be heard by a seven-judge Court of Appeal bench.

The President of the Court of Appeal Daniel Musinga issued the directive on Wednesday during Case Management Conference.

Justice Musinga said that arrangements will also be made to pitch a tent outside the court premises where the case will be heard to minimize the risk of the spread of coronavirus.

“There will be a  bench of seven judges to hear the  appeal and therefore we cannot all fit in the courtroom, arrangements have been made to pitch a tent outside the court premises so that there is ample space for the counsel and judges,” the appellate court chief ruled.

Justice Musinga who appeared alongside colleagues, Lady Justices Roseline Nambuye and Hannah Okwengu, also ruled that the mode of hearing the case will be hybrid whereby parties can choose to either appear in person or virtually.

While the court did not pick a definite date, Justice Musinga noted that the earliest the proceedings will be begin is June 23.

“The earliest we can begin the proceedings is around 23rd June, I urge the counsel to look at their calendar so that within that period, you do not crowd your calendars,” he ruled.

He appealed to all parties to handle the appeal with dignity and uphold utmost respect for each other.

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“Let us be civil, let us respect one another, let us balance our comments and realize we have an important judicial process that must be handled in an important manner,” he told the counsels.

“We don’t have to prosecute or defend our respective position in the media, allow the courts to make a fair , properly  informed position without unnecessary attacks by all concerned parties.”

The three-judge bench was set to decide on the timeline the appellants and respondents can file their submissions.

At the Constitutional Court, Justices Joel Ngugi, George Odunga, Jarius Ngaah, Chacha Mwita, and Teresiah Matheka  declared that the basic structure of the constitution could only be amended by invoking a four-phased process entailing, “civic education; public participation and collation of views; Constituent Assembly debate; and ultimately, a referendum.”

The court also found President Uhuru Kenyatta to have acted in violation of Chapter VI of the Constitution (2010)

President Kenyatta, former Prime Minister Raila Odinga and the BBI Secretariat  filed the appeal challenging the verdict that rendered that the BBI Constitutional Amendment process is unconstitutional, null and void.

In his appeal, President Kenyatta through lawyer Waweru Gatonye, argued that the five-judge bench erred by determining the case without ensuring personal service had been effected upon him.

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