KPA challenges jurisdiction of SGR case Bench at Supreme Court
By Monica Kagia
Kenya Ports Authority has moved to the Supreme Court challenging the jurisdiction of a five-judge Bench constituted by Chief Justice David Maraga to hear and determine a case seeking to have the management of the port handed over to the Mombasa County.
Through the Attorney General, KPA filed a Notice of Appeal at the Supreme Court in Nairobi challenging the decision by the Appellate Court sitting in Mombasa that allowed the Bench to hear the dispute last month.
Lawyer Wachira Nguyo from the AG office said KPA was dissatisfied by the decision of Justice Pauline Nyamweya, Erick Ogolla, Lydia Achode, Anthony Mrima and Justice Joel Ngugi that was delivered on September 26.
The Appellate Court had ruled that the five judge bench have the jurisdiction to hear and determine the dispute.
In March, the Bench rejected an application by KPA counsel Githu Muigai and Billy Kongere challenging their jurisdiction on the matter.
The dispute arises from a petition filed by three Mombasa residents William Odhiambo Ramogi, Asha Mashaka Omar and Gerald Lewa Kiti. Mombasa County, Muslim for Human Rights (Muhuri) and activist Maina Kiai are enjoined in the case as interested parties.
The petitioners, through lawyer Nyambura Kihoro, are challenging the September 30, 2014 agreement between KPA and Kenya Railways Corporation that allowed clearing of upcountry bound cargo and transportation through Standard Gauge Railways to the Inland Container Depot.
The petitioners want the Bench to order the return of cargo clearance services from the Embakasi ICD to Mombasa port and for the entire operation of the port left to the County Government.
Kihoro said issues raised in the petition are of public interest and the outcome shall determine the extent to which the economic and social rights of the county residents shall be threatened and contravened.
However, KPA in their appeal argued the dispute is inter-governmental that needs to be resolved through dispute resolution tribunal.