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AG Kihara Kariuki defends BBI at the Supreme Court

Tuesday, January 18th, 2022 18:31 | By
Attorney General
Attorney General Kihara Kariuki: PHOTO/courtesy
Attorney General Kihara Kariuki: PHOTO/courtesy

Attorney-General Kihara Kariuki defended the Building Bridges Initiative (BBI) bill on Tuesday, January 18 at the Supreme Court.

This is after the Court of Appeal in August last year upheld the High Court's ruling which declared the BBI as null and void adding that the processes was unconstitutional.

Through Solicitor General Kennedy Ogeto, the AG faulted the Court of Appeal for declaring the BBI process unconstitutional.

The Solicitor General told the seven judges, led by Chief Justice Martha Koome that their singular desire is to have the court determine and settle the constitutional questions in their appeal.

"Not just for today but also and perhaps more importantly for posterity," he said.

According to Ogeto, the Court of Appeal judges answered key questions the wrong way giving contradictory justifications in some instances.

“We have no doubt that our Constitution has a basic structure, but in our Constitution, it tells us that it is amendable, and it goes further to tell us how it should be amended. It does not impose any limit to its amendability,” Ogeto said.

The Solicitor General further faulted the judges for agreeing with the High Court ruling that basic structure is amendable only through the primary constituent power that must include four sequential processes.

In his submission to the Court of Appeal, Ogeto said that the judges erroneously elevated the basic structure doctrine to a universal template for certain Constitutional amendments or changes.

He argued that the basic structure doctrine was applicable in Kenya, the absence of clarity on what the basic structure is would create legal and constitutional difficulty.

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