President Uhuru Kenyatta and former Prime Minister Raila Odinga presented their final submission in their bid to overturn the High Court ruling that quashed the BBI Bill process.
The May 13 judgment by the High Court argued that the bill violated the Constitution because it had been sponsored by the president who does not have the power to initiate a constitutional amendment.
While pleading with a seven-bench judge to reverse the High Court verdict, Raila Odinga’s lawyer and Rarieda Member of Parliament Otiende Amollo said as much as Uhuru and Raila supported the BBI Bill, they were not the main sponsors as judged by the High Court.
Otiende told the appellate court that the Constitutional Amendment Bill 2020 was sponsored by Suna East MP Junet Mohammed and former Dagoreti South MP Dennis Waweru.
“It is the co-chairs who collected and submitted them to IEBC through an intensive process. Without a doubt, the promoters of the initiate were the two gentlemen,” Amollo said.
On his part, President Uhuru Kenyatta through his lawyers Waweru Gatonye, Mohammed Nyaoga and Kiragu Kimani argued that if the High Court verdict would be left to stand, then it will deprive the president of his rights to participate in political activities.
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“Nobody has shown the court provisions in the Constitution that bars the president from using a popular initiative or say he can only use parliament,
“No provision bars the president from initiating an amendment of the constitution through a popular initiate,” the lawyers said.
The BBI case was heard by High Court judges Joel Ngugi, George Odinga, Jairus Ngaa, Chacha Mwita and Teresia Matheka.
In their judgement, they said any proceedings to amend the Constitution ought to be started either by parliament or through a popular initiative.
“For the president to institute such amendments would be akin to granting him the roles of the promoters and referee, since, after beginning the process, he would sprint to the finishing line to await and receive it and to determine its ultimate fate,” the judges said.
Yesterday, ODM party Secretary General Edwin Sifuna said he was optimistic the battery of lawyers challenging the High Court judgment will win the Appeal adding that as the party, they are ready for any outcome in the ongoing Building Bridges Initiative (BBI) appeal case.