Court dismisses Ekuru Aukot’s case challenging BBI task force


Court dismisses Ekuru Aukot's case challenging BBI task force

The High Court has dismissed a case filed by Thirdway Alliance Party leader Ekuru Aukot challenging the constitutionality of the Building Bridges Initiative (BBI) task force.

Aukot wanted the court to declare the BBI taskforce as unconstitutional and its report nullified.

The Thirdway Alliance leader argued that the formation of the BBI team amounted to misuse of public funds, adding that members of the task force ought to have been vetted publicly to represent interests of all Kenyans.

However, Justice John Mativo on Wednesday ruled that the BBI team was legally constituted, further noting that there was no material before the court to suggest there has been misuse of public funds.

“In view of my analysis of the issues distilled and discussed above and the conclusions arrived at, I find and hold that this petition fails in its entirety accordingly, I dismiss the petitioners petition,” ruled justice Mativo.

The judge ruled that the President cannot be said to have acted ultra-vires the constitution, adding that he acted within his authority and power in taking steps to achieve these “noble constitutional and rationality tests which are core requirements for the decisions to pass the principle of legality test.”

While dismissing the case, justice Mativo ruled that the gazette notice that announced the BBI team shows that the mandate of the task force factored in the element of public participation.

In defending the president’s move to constitute the task force, the court noted that it was the intention of the Constitution that any time the president performs his functions under the constitution, he is required to subject his decision to public participation.

“It (petition) has not established that the functions in question are outside the constitutional mandate of the president,” ruled the judge.

“It is not in dispute that the president is obliged by the constitution to ensure national unity is realized, it is not in dispute that he has powers to appoint the task force to advise him on among other means of realizing this constitutional requirement,” added justice Mativo.

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Story By Benjamin Muriuki
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