Case challenging CJ Maraga’s advisory to dissolve Parliament set for November 23
Published on: October 21, 2020 02:47 (EAT)
A five-judge bench will sit on November 23 to hear the case challenging CJ David Maraga’s advisory to the President to dissolve parliament. Justice James Makau issued the directive on Wednesday after all the cases were mentioned for further direction. The Chief Justice who has been named as respondent in the cases has appointed city lawyer James Ochieng Oduol to defend him in all the cases that he has been mentioned in. The five-judge bench led by Justice Lydia Achode is expected to fine tune several issues and give directions on how the cases will proceed. There are several applications that have been raised including whether to consolidate the cases. There is also an application that was filed by two petitioners challenging the appointment of judges on the bench. On Wednesday, Senior lawyer Ahmednasir Abdullahi told the court that he wants another bench constituted arguing that the current one is unconstitutional. According to the him, the Deputy CJ has no powers to appoint or assume the powers of the Chief Justice. All the applications will be mentioned before the bench before a hearing date and other further directions issued. There are eight matters that have been filed before the court. According to Emmanuel Bitta who is representing the State, there are still other petitioners who are still filing cases on the same. Some of them include the National Assembly and the Senate, Thirdway Alliance Kenya, Lawyer Adrian Kamotho, Leina Konchellah among others. Apart from the Chief Justice, the Attorney General has also been named as a respondent in the case. Meanwhile Lawyer Elius Mutuma wants the bench to hear the case physically and not online. Mutuma argued that parties in the case were struggling to hear each other when the matter was heard virtually on Wednesday. However, the Attorney General opposed the application saying it will be difficult to observe the COVID-19 regulations. State Counsel Emmanuel Bitta echoed similar sentiments saying if the case is heard in open court many parties including the media and members of the public will want to participate. According to him, allowing this will endanger the lives of all those who will be inside the courtroom. The Federation of Women Lawyers (FIDA), Law Society of Kenya (LSK) and the Kenya Human Rights Commission (KHRC) are some of the proposed interested parties who want to be enjoined in the case.