Omtatah files petition to block transfer of Nairobi County functions

Omtatah files petition to block transfer of Nairobi County functions
Nairobi Governor Mike Sonko and Devolution Cabinet Secretary Eugene Wamalwa at State House during the signing of an agreement for the functions of the Nairobi County Government to be taken over by the National Government. PHOTO| PSCU

Activist Okiya Omtatah has moved to court seeking orders blocking the transfer of functions of the Nairobi County Government to the National Government.

In the petition filed on Wednesday, Omtatah argues that the public, the Cabinet, County Executive Committee, County Assembly, and the Senate were not involved in the decision as required by law.

“Article 187 of the Constitution provides for the transfer of functions and powers between levels of government, the transfer ought to have involved the national and county governments not just the President and his people on one hand and the Governor and his people on the other,” reads part of the petition.

He further argues: “There is no Cabinet paper on the transfer. There is no resolution by Parliament. There is no County Executive Committee paper on the transfer. There is no County Executive Resolution on the impugned transfer of functions which was approved by the County Assembly and then forwarded to the Senate for concurrence.”

Omtatah further submits that the Governor is not the County Government and he has no powers to transfer county government functions, nor can he purport to have done so.

“The Governor is barred from office which includes executing any functions of that office. He can’t then claim to execute any agreements or contracts on behalf of Nairobi City County. To do so would be contemptuous of the Court Orders barring him from office,” he further states.

According to Omtatah, the removal of the key functions leaves the Nairobi City County Government as an empty shell, and that it is tantamount to dissolving the County Government “without reference/adherence to Article 192 of the Constitution.”

He wants the court to declare that the transfer of the functions of the Nairobi County Government is “unlawful and unconstitutional and, therefore, invalid, null and void ab initio.”

He is also seeking a court order invalidating the Gazette Notice issued on Tuesday, February 25, announcing the transfer of the Nairobi County functions.

The National Executive, the Nairobi County Government and the Attorney General have been cited as respondents in the case with the Council of Governors, Katiba Institute and Law Society of Kenya being listed as interested parties.

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Story By Dzuya Walter
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