Cherera team suffers blow in bid to stop Parliament grilling
Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) vice-chair Juliana Cherera yesterday suffered a blow after she failed to stop the National Assembly Departmental Committee on Justice and Legal Affairs from conducting proceedings of her removal from office.
Cherera moved to court to challenge the proceedings of her ouster by the National Assembly which are set to kick off on Thursday saying the four days she was granted to prepare and respond to four petitions filed against her were inadequate
She wanted the court to issue an order stopping the proceedings but Justice Mugure Thande instead directed her to serve the suit to the National Assembly and the Attorney General for inter partes hearing on December 14.
“The petitioner should file and serve the respondents by November 28,” said Mugure.
Four petitions were filed against the IEBC vice-chair by Republican Party, Rev Dennis Ndwiga, Geoffrey Lang’at and Owour Jerry.
Last week, National Assembly Speaker Moses Wetangula approved the petitions and conveyed them to the Departmental Committee on Justice and Legal Affairs.
In its sitting of November 16, the Departmental Committee resolved to commence hearings on the four petitions as from Thursday and gave Cherera four days to prepare and respond to each of the four petitions for her removal.
Cherera through lawyer Apollo Mboya however claims that the four days granted to her to prepare and respond to each of the four petitions infringes on the right guaranteed by Article 50 of the Constitution of Kenya on fair trial to the extent that it does not accord her adequate time and facilities to prepare a defence.
She claims she stands to be prejudiced if the removal proceedings are conducted in accordance with the timelines provided in the letter dated November 16 from the Clerk of the National Assembly.
“The proceedings of the Departmental Committee are quasi-judicial in nature and must therefore conform to the fundamental rights and freedoms envisaged under Article 50 of the Constitution of Kenya on fair trial including adequate time and facilities to prepare a defence,” she argues in court documents.
It is her case that Article 2 of the Constitution of Kenya on the Supremacy of the Constitution of Kenya binds all persons and all State organs at all levels of government and by dint of Article 3 of the Constitution of Kenya, every person has an obligation to respect, uphold and defend the Constitution.
She argues that the Court has jurisdiction to determine the question whether a right or fundamental freedom in the Bill of Rights has been denied, violated, infringed or threatened.
“By dint of Article 258 of the Constitution of Kenya, this Honourable Court is saddled with the jurisdiction to entertain proceedings claiming the contravention or threatened contravention of the Constitution,” she argues.
She contends that every person has the right to institute court proceedings claiming that a right or fundamental freedom in the Bill of Rights has been denied, violated or infringed, or is threatened.