NAIROBI, Kenya, June 2 – The Court of Appeal Wednesday issued a ruling allowing the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) to continue discharging its statutory functions except on matters related to Building Bridges Initiative Constitution amendment process.
“IEBC shall continue to discharge its statutory and functions except for dealing with contentious issues arising from the High Court judgment relating to the constitution amendment,” Appellate Court President Justice Daniel Musinga said during a Case Management Conference.
In his ruling, he also gave all parties appealing the BBI invalidation by the High Court seven days to file written submissions ahead of the hearings slated for June 29 to July 2.
“All intended appellants who have filed notices of appeal shall be at liberty to file supplementary records of appeals and or memorandum of appeals as may be appropriate within seven days. Any respondent intends to file a cross-appeal is at liberty to do so within seven days,” Justice Musinga added.
The respondents will be allowed to file counter arguments through written submissions within 14 days of appellants filing. Replies will then be served within three days thereafter.
The court said submissions shall be limited to 40 pages and that the consolidated appeals shall be heard by way of written submissions with oral highlights limited to two hours for each respondent and appellant.
“The court shall be at liberty to limit the time allocated to avoid repetition,” Justice Musinga who issued the ruling alongside Lady Justices Roseline Nambuye and Hannah Okwengu said.
The three-judge bench noted that consolidated appeals against the Constitutional Court judgment invaliding the Building Bridges Initiative (BBI) constitution amendment bid will be heard by a seven-judge Court of Appeal bench.
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.
He appealed to all parties to handle the appeal with dignity and uphold utmost respect for each other.
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.”