Raila Odinga’s Shakahola suit scheduled for court hearing on Monday

The Azimio coalition’s application to stop the proceedings of a commission of inquiry into the Shakahola cult tragedy will be heard in court on Monday.

High Court Judge Lawrence Mugambi on Thursday directed all involved parties to prepare for the hearing on May 22.

The coalition, which filed the case last week, argues that President William Ruto’s appointment of the eight-member team is unlawful and constitutes a violation of powers vested in other state organs by the Constitution.

Azimio leader Raila Odinga wants the court to suspend the commission’s activities until the petition is determined.

According to Azimio, President Ruto has usurped the authority of the national police service by appointing the team, undermining the command of Inspector General of Police Japhet Koome.

Additionally, the coalition accuses Dr. Ruto of empowering personal nominees to undermine the constitutional mandate and authority of state institutions and organs.

In an affidavit, Raila argues that Section 3 of the Commission of Inquiry Act is unconstitutional, rendering the entire Act null and void as it grants the President the power to determine who will perform judicial duties.

Lawyer Paul Mwangi argues that Parliament has the authority to establish a subordinate court or an independent tribunal through an Act, and the Constitution empowers the Judiciary to recruit qualified individuals for court service.

The petition further contends that the appointment of Justice Lesiit as commission chairperson exposes the judiciary to embarrassment, as it was made without consultation with Chief Justice Martha Koome. Moreover, Azimio argues that Justice Lesiit will be subject to the President’s direction, remuneration, and allowances, compromising her independence.

Mr. Mwangi warns that not declaring the Commissions of Inquiry Act unconstitutional would set a precedent where the President can entice sitting judges with appointments to commissions of inquiry and other executive positions, potentially influencing their impartiality when adjudicating executive actions before them.

The post Raila Odinga’s Shakahola suit scheduled for court hearing on Monday appeared first on Nairobi Wire.

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