Court to rule whether Omtatah case challenging Finance Bill will be referred to CJ


Activist Okiya Omtata
Activist Okiya Omtata. Photo/COURTESY

In Summary

  • In the case, The Finance Bill 2018 has been challenged in court by activist Okiya Omtatah who argues that it was enacted in violation of express provisions of the Constitution.
  • Omtatah is, however, opposed to the application by the government to have the matter referred to the Chief Justice, saying it is a delaying tactic.
  • He further accused the government of acting in contempt of the court which had asked the parties to fast track the matter.

The High Court will on October 22, 2018 rule on whether the case challenging Finance Bill 2018 will be referred to Chief Justice David Maraga to impanel a bench to hear the matter.

In the case, The Finance Bill 2018 has been challenged in court by activist Okiya Omtatah who argues that it was enacted in violation of express provisions of the Constitution.

Omtatah is, however, opposed to the application by the government to have the matter referred to the Chief Justice, saying it is a tactic aimed at delaying the hearing and determination of the issues raised in his application.

He further accused the government of acting in contempt of the court which had asked the parties to fast track the matter.

However, Omtatah said that should the court be inclined to issue the orders to the State then it should also suspend the Finance Bill 2018 in order to protect the public, the petition and the perception of the court to the public as a fair and honest arbitrator.

The State, through lawyer George Oraro, wants the matter to be heard by a three-judge bench saying that issues raised in the petition posed substantial questions of law that need to be determined by a bench.

The State argues that the bench will determine, among many other issues, whether any country can operate without a Finance Act.

“The issues raised in the instant petition are weighty and have important consequences to the general public and economy of the country,” reads the application.

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Story By Dzuya Walter
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