Win for French firm IDEMIA in IEBC contract case
The High Court has set aside a decision by the National Assembly that recommended for investigations against French multinational IDEMIA for allegedly flouting the Companies Act.
IDEMIA (Identity and Security France SAS), formerly known as OT Morpho, is a company that supplied IEBC with electronic kits which were used in the 2017 General Election and repeat presidential election.
According to the court, the National Assembly and Parliamentary Accounts Committee ignored relevant considerations namely the provisions of the law they invoked were not in force at the time the contracts were signed.
Further, the court ruled that the recommendations directing IEBC to recover all monies allegedly unlawfully paid to IDEMIA is ultra vires the powers of the National Assembly and the powers of the PAC because only a court of law can determine the legal validity or otherwise of the said payments.
The court also noted that by recommending that their contracts be cancelled the National Assembly and PAC fell into error and exercised jurisdiction it did not posses.
“For the impugned recommendations to stand they must pass the rationality test,” the Judge ruled.
IDEMIA had challenged the recommendations by National Assembly on grounds that it is a globally reputable firm that stands to suffer reputation and business loses arising from the National Assembly recommendations to the Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI) and the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions (ODPP).
The recommendations, IDEMIA argued, are against the Fair Administrative Act, as the supposed investigations and subsequent criminal prosecution by the DCI and ODPP are meant to justify a preconceived outcome.
IDEMIA further claimed that the National Assembly recommendations were based on failure to register locally before doing business in Kenya, a requirement which was not a legal condition at the time it signed its contractual agreement with the IEBC in March 2017.
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