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Monday, June 26, 2017

Muturi to rule on court order stopping Ouko’s removal probe

Auditor General Edward Ouko appears before the National assembly Finance and planning committee after Emmanuel Mwagambo, the petitioner seeking his removal from office, submitted his evidence on February 28, 2017. /HEZRON NJOROGE
Auditor General Edward Ouko appears before the National assembly Finance and planning committee after Emmanuel Mwagambo, the petitioner seeking his removal from office, submitted his evidence on February 28, 2017. /HEZRON NJOROGE

All eyes will today be on National Assembly Speaker Justin Muturi as he rules on a court order stopping the inquiry into Auditor General Edward Ouko’s removal petition.

The judiciary, embattled Auditor General Ouko and Kenyans will follow keenly to see what transpires in Parliament during the afternoon session.

Muturi will make the critical decision that is likely to renew rivalry with the courts. Two High Court judges issued orders barring the House Committee on Finance from proceeding with the inquiry into a petition seeking Ouko’s sacking over claims of abuse of office.

Ouko is also mentioned in the purchase of a Sh100 million audit vault software. It is alleged the contract was inflated from Sh18 million. MPs and Muturi are unhappy with the orders and have criticised the judiciary for interfering with their work.

“This matter has issues to do with the Constitution and our Standing Orders., Muturi said last Thursday before postponing the ruling. He added, “We need to decide whether the Constitution should be amended for petitioners to be petitioning courts, not this Parliament, and if Standing Orders the 10th Parliament left to us should be suspended, so we start operating in the jungle.”

Ouko has warned Muturi against defying the orders as it will render the committee’s work null and void.

“At the end of it, the court will declare that the process had been stopped and every effort, money and time will have been wasted,” he said, adding that the House should appeal the decision in court. It is a situation to be avoided if Parliament respects the order.”

Majority Leader Aden Duale said, “If the Judiciary wants to become a squatter in this House, it should say. It cannot play two roles. We don’t want to become a department of the Judiciary.”

Ouko rushed to court to challenge the committee’s “unfair” inquiry process violating his rights.

Justice George Odunga ordered the committee chaired by Ainamoi MP Benjamin Lang’at to halt the probe until the case is heard on May 15.


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