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Supreme Court decline to give an advisory view on BBI

The Supreme Court led by Acting CJ Philomena Mwilu has declined to give an advisory on matters relating to BBI that were filed by Makueni Governor Kivutha Kibwana and two county assemblies.

 

In a decision arrived at by Mwilu together with Justices Ibrahim Mohammed, Njoki Ndung’u, Smokin Wanjala and Isaac Lenaola, the Court ruled that it cannot give their views on a matter that is still pending determination before the court.

 

Nandi and Kericho County Assemblies moved to the apex court last year seeking an opinion on the constitutionality of BBI with Prof. Kibwana later filing a separate advisory opinion.

 

The Judges further ruled that even though they have jurisdiction to render an advisory opinion, they would not exercise their discretion in that matter.

 

“We do not see how the High Court can determine the issues before it without venturing into similar questions now pending before us in the two references,” the court ruled.

 

The court further ruled that given the timing of the proceedings before the High Court, there is a distinct possibility that the advisory opinion and declarations from the Supreme Court and High Court respectively could be issued at the same time.

 

“Such a scenario is likely to cause confusion and anxiety in the public mind, not to mention the potential threat, to the principles of certainty and finality in judicial pronouncements,” the court ruling read.

 

The court was referring to the consolidated petition that is pending a hearing on Tuesday at the High Court before a five-judge bench.

 

The Justice and Legal Affairs committees of the two houses has held public engagement following the tabling of the BBI bill.

 

The bill was formally introduced in the Senate and National Assembly for steering through the next stages by the joint committees.

 

by Alice Gworo

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