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BBI appeal hearing in session on June 29, 2021.

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Appeals Court rejects Kanjama’s fresh bid to join BBI cases

NAIROBI, Kenya Jun 29 – The seven-judge bench hearing the Building Bridges Initiative (BBI) appeal has rejected an application by lawyer Charles Kanjama to strike out sections where he was affirming part of the High Court judgment that stopped the process.

Judge Hannah Okwengu however, said Kanjama’s appeal shall not be consolidated with other appeals arising from the judgment of May 13 but shall be heard back to back with the appeals by the seven-judge bench on Friday.

“We are not satisfied that there are any sufficient reasons for this Court to review its earlier ruling. The application is therefore rejected,” she said.

She explained that “In the ruling that we had given, there were clear directions given, regarding his appeal which was to be heard on Friday which remains the position.”

Justices Okwengu, Patrick Kiage and Francis Tuyoitt had on Monday issued a ruling where they retained part of Kanjama’s appeal that faulted the five-judge bench decision, which failed to give reasons for declining to enjoin him in the BBI case at the High Court.

In striking out the application, Okwengu termed Kanjama’s attempt to revive the matter before the 7-judge bench as an ‘academic exercise which will not change the situation’.

She instead referred him to the court’s direction, where they ordered him to file and serve a new memorandum of appeal that’s limited to the issue of rejoinder at the High Court.

Kanjama, who is seeking to participate in the landmark case as an Appellant acting in the public interest, attempted to get the Court’s audience as he claimed that he had not been properly served by the Attorney General and the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC).

“Even if we are to expect what you are telling us now, that you were not served and we are to review that order to the extent of setting aside the part that relates to the application of IEBC, i don’t think it would change matters much, because there is already an order that is restricting you from participating in this appeal, and that order in so much as the AG is concerned you have not challenged it,” Justice Okwengu noted.

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Attorney-General Kihara Kariuki objected to Kanjama’s quest to join the appellate cases because a similar application was rejected by the High Court on March 17 during a hearing of the consolidated petitions challenging the BBI process.

The Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission had also lodged a separate appeal in which it wants the Appeal Court to annul the High Court declaration that the three-member commission does not have a quorum.

In a May ruling, five High Court judges said the Building Bridges Initiative Constitution Amendment Bill, was irregular, illegal and unconstitutional.

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