DAY 4

Final day of BBI appeal hearing, court won't sit at night

Karua had asked for more time, saying the bench could sit past 6pm, but Musinga declined.

In Summary

As the hearing hits the homestretch, both parties are scrambling to make their case to the seven-judge bench headed by the Court of Appeal President Daniel Musinga.

The respondents seek to ask the court to uphold the ruling of the High Court, which nullified the entire BBI process, terming it unconstitutional.

Court of Appeal Judges during the final day of the BBI case hearing at the Court of Appeal on July 2021.
Court of Appeal Judges during the final day of the BBI case hearing at the Court of Appeal on July 2021.
Image: CHARLENE MALWA

The hearing of the Building Bridges Initiative (BBI) enters its final day on Friday at the Court of Appeal, with both the plaintiffs and the respondents given minimum time to make their last arguments.

As the hearing hits the homestretch, both parties are scrambling to make their case to the seven-judge bench headed by the Court of Appeal President Daniel Musinga.

The respondents seek to ask the court to uphold the ruling of the High Court, which nullified the entire BBI process, terming it unconstitutional.

Senior Council Martha Karua, who is part of the team representing the respondents in the case, asked the court on Friday to adjust its time in order to allow them to finalise their submissions.

Karua said the court could sit past the official time if need be.

“We were pleading that you consider giving us a little more time than an hour. Those of us who will finish before, we will not take the court’s time. We appreciate the court wishes to finish this case today, and still, it can be finished. We are just appealing that the court be flexible even if it means sitting into the evening to finish the matter,” Karua said.

Karua continued, “…but to help us to have enough time to ventilate because we are here as respondents and we need time to ventilate.”

Dismissing the appeal, Justice Musinga said that the court cannot have night sittings, saying sitting past the court’s official time has become an issue previously.

“The so-called night sittings have become an issue in our jurisprudence and we may not be able to go beyond six,” Musinga said.

Relentless Karua said that in the previous case challenging the Huduma Number, they were able to hear the matter beyond six.

“We have sat before. In the Huduma case, we were sitting beyond 8pm and in many other cases. We plead with court…’” Karua said, before being interrupted by Justice Musinga, who said a lot of issues have emerged regarding the night sittings.

But Karua said that such issues are just propaganda.

Patrick Kiage, who is one of the seven-judge bench members said that one of them is a Seventh-Day Adventist member, as well as some of the advocates in the case, hence rendering sitting past 6pm impossible.

Other judges hearing the case are Justices Roseline Nambuye, Hannah Okwengu, Fatuma Sichale and Justices Steven Gatembu, and Francis Tuiyott.