BBI Hearing: Solicitor General Ogeto faults judges for using Wikipedia in BBI ruling


Solicitor General Kennedy Ogeto, on 29 June 2021, hit out the five-judge bench that ruled the Building Bridges Initiative (BBI) as unconstitutional, null and void.

During the hearing of the BBI case, Ogeto pointed out nine areas that Attorney General Paul Kihara will use in a bid to overturn the High Court judgment that nullified BBI.

In his submission to the seven-judge bench, Ogeto urged the seven-judge bench to do the right thing and overrule the High Court decision that halted the BBI process.

He pointed that those who came up with the BBI never intended to make some parts of the Constitution unamendable, as the High Court claimed when giving its ruling.

He added that if that were the case, then the makers of the country’s Constitution would have expressly stated so in the Constitution.

The Solicitor General maintained that that Chapter 16 has always safeguarded the Constitution against any amendment violation.

He added that since the promulgation of the Constitution, there had been approximately 22 failed attempts to amend it through popular initiative and Parliament.

Ogeto reasoned that the judges purported to amend the Constitution under the pretext of interpretation.

He blamed the five-judge bench, who unanimously voted in nullifying the BBI process using Wikipedia as an authority in their judgment, especially on the popular initiative.

He pointed out that Wikipedia cannot be relied on serious issues and the judges’ reliance on it partly resulted in their claim.

“The regrettable claim resulted partly from the learned judges’ reliance on Wikipedia, they resorted to Wikipedia as an authority; for sure Wikipedia cannot be reliable authority for anything serious,” he stated.

Ogeto also criticized the judges for ruling that each of the proposed amendment clauses should be presented as a separate referendum question.

He noted that their order contradicts Article 252 of the law, which identifies an amendment bill as subject matter for a referendum.

He added that the Constitution gives the President absolute immunity from civil proceedings while exercising his official functions.

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