"UNNECESSARY RUSH?"

Parties in BBI Appeal case unhappy with allocated timings at Supreme Court

Supreme Court said to be in "an unnecessary rush".

In Summary

• A source who requested not to be named because he is close to the case said the Supreme Court is in an unnecessary rush even though the matter is no longer going to impact the next general elections.

• The court had directed that the Attorney General and IEBC who are appellants will have 45 minutes each to highlight their submissions. The respondents will also be allocated the same time to respond.

Chief Justice Martha Koome with Supreme Court judges Mohamed Ibrahim, Njoki Ndung'u and William Ouko when the court issued directions on the BBI appeals on November 9, 2021.
Chief Justice Martha Koome with Supreme Court judges Mohamed Ibrahim, Njoki Ndung'u and William Ouko when the court issued directions on the BBI appeals on November 9, 2021.
Image: FILE

Parties in the BBI appeal which is scheduled to start hearings Tuesday are disgruntled with the time allocated to them by the Supreme Court.

Last Friday, the Deputy Registrar of the Apex issued directions to parties on how the case will be conducted for the three days that it will be heard.

A source who requested not to be named because he is close to the case said the Supreme Court is in an unnecessary rush even though the matter is no longer going to impact the next general elections.

“There is no other chance to appeal the case. The Supreme Court should just slow down and give the case sufficient attention. You can see that both sides are unhappy with the court's unilateral directions. It in fact gets basic facts wrong in those directions,” the source said.

The court had directed that the Attorney General and IEBC who are appellants will have 45 minutes each to highlight their submissions.

The respondents will also be allocated the same time to respond.

The court only allowed 11 respondents including David Ndii, Jerotich Seii, Thirdway Alliance, Phelister Wakesho, Muhuri and Isaac Aluochier as the main respondents who initially filed the matter at the High Court to submit.

However, parties from sides have written letters to the deputy registrar saying they are either dissatisfied with the time given or being left out of the list of the main parties who will submit to the court.

In a letter dated January 16 through Solicitor General Kennedy Ogeto, the AG has asked the court to reconsider the time allocated to them.

Ogeto says their appeal contains a majority of the grounds identified by the court as constituting the matters to be addressed in the consolidated appeals while IEBC will be dealing with two or one ground.

Ogeto further claims the respondents have been allocated a combined time of more than six hours to reply to the submissions that they make the 45 minutes.

“The appellants have been allocated a combined time of two hours and 15 minutes against the respondents six hours. It is the AGs humble view that even on the basis of equality of arms, the time allocated to the two sides should be equal or as near as possible,” the letter reads.

On the other hand, Justus Juma and Isaac Ogada have also written to the court saying they were left out from the list of respondents and they should also be allocated 45 minutes since they were main petitioners at the High Court.

Lawyer Dudley Ochiel has also written to the court saying his client Dr Jack Mwimali has been left out of the list and should also be granted 45 minutes as the main respondent.

Ochiel has also opposed the inclusion of Phelister Wakesho as a main respondent arguing that she was not a petitioner but has been allocated 45 minutes to the detriment of real petitioners.

Both the High Court and the Court of Appeal shot down the push to amend the Constitution through the BBI, describing the Constitution (Amendment) Bill, 2021, null and void.

In his appeal, the Attorney General is challenging key findings of the lower courts that overturned the bid to amend the Constitution.