Raila Odinga disappointed by court ruling that outlawed BBI bill, says they will appeal


ODM party leader Raila Odinga addresses the press outside his Capitol Hill offices on November 13, 2020.
FILE PHOTO | ODM party leader Raila Odinga addresses the press outside his Capitol Hill offices on November 13, 2020. PHOTO| COURTESY

ODM Party leader Raila Odinga has expressed his disappointment with the court ruling that declared the Building Bridges Initiative (BBI) and the Constitution Amendment Bill, 2020, unconstitutional.

In a statement issued on Saturday, Mr. Odinga said they would appeal the High Court decision to annul the BBI process.

“…I want to address myself to Thursday’s ruling of the High Court on the Building Bridges Initiative and the Constitution Amendment Bill, 2020. Supporters of the Constitution Amendment Bill, including myself, have been disappointed by the High Court ruling. However, I urge restraint in the public commentary about the ruling,” reads the statement.

“We will calmly and respectfully move to the Court of Appeal to present our case as to why we think the High Court did not render the right verdict.”

The ODM Party leader, however, urged the public to be cautious while commenting on the ruling that outlawed the BBI.

“I want to urge that we restrain from personalized attacks on the court and its members. We may disagree with the court but we must respect its ruling and its freedom to exercise its judgment as it understands the legal and constitutional matters before it,” added Mr. Odinga.

Also Read: High Court declares BBI Bill unconstitutional

A five-judge High Court bench of Justices Joel Ngugi, George Odunga, Jairus Ngaah, Teresia Matheka and Chacha Mwita said an amendment can either be initiated by a Parliamentary or popular initiative, not the President.

The judges cited the president for failing to actualise the constitutional requirement on public participation accusing him of coming short of violating a law he vowed to defend when he took his oath of office as the fourth President of the Republic of Kenya.

The court also found that the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) had the sole role of determining boundaries and that the BBI proposal for the creation of 70 new constituencies was against the law and went against the principle of public participation.

The court hence barred the IEBC from going ahead with holding a referendum on the BBI Bill.

“It is our finding that popular initiative is power reserved for Wanjiku neither the president or any other state organ can utilise Article 257 to amend the Constitution,” ruled the judges..

“Kenyans intended that the essence of constitutional order they were bequeathing themselves in 2010 would only be changed in exercise of primary constituent power that is through civic education, public participation, constitutional assembly plus a referendum and not through secondary constituent power which is through public participation and referendum only.”

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Story By Benjamin Muriuki
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