Council of Governors, Lawyers Issa Mansur,Peter Wanyama and Ahmednassir Abdulahi leaves Milimani Law Court after obtaining orders restraining senate from summoning governors to appear before senate committee over financial matters.
BY SAM ALFAN.
High Court sitting in Nairobi has stopped the Senate from grilling four Governors on Tuesday as the Chief Justice set up a three judge bench to hear and determine whether the House has authority to summon the county chiefs over financial matters.
Kisumu’s Jack Ranguma, Bomet’s Isaac Ruto and Kiambu’s William Kabogo Governors were expected to appear before the House on Tuesday to answer allegations of financial irregularities raised in a report compiled by the Auditor General.
The move brings in a new twist to the stalemate to the two legislative organs, as the Governors were reported to have agreed to appear before the House.
Justice Isaac Lenaola issued the orders today, arguing that his decision would not cause any harm to the Senate.
According to the judge, if the grilling was done on Tuesday, it would obstruct with the main issue in the petition filed by the Council of Governors, which is whether the Senate can summon the Governors in person.
The orders came as Chief Justice Willy Mutunga set up a three judge bench to determine the Governors’ petition, which also challenges the authority of the Senate to have the county chiefs to appear in person before the House committee in matters regarding finances in their counties.
The bench to hear the matter will consist of Justice Isaac Lenaola, Mumbi Ngugi and George Odunga.
“I grant the orders sought until the hearing on September 12. If you force them to appear tomorrow it will not be fair to anyone,” said the judge.
Senators have strongly accused Governors of abusing the Court process, arguing that the High Court has no jurisdiction to determine the matter.
“Under Article 125 of the Constitution, the Senate has the same power as the High Court. They cannot come to the High Court for orders,” argued the Senators.
Governors, through their lawyer Ahmednassir Abdulahi in response said that the Senate is in a state of legislative confusion, and is exerting powers it does not have.
“To say that the Senate has the same power as the High Court is heresy,” said lawyer Ahmednassir.
The bench will give further directions to the Governors and the Senators on September 12, when it is also expected to give a hearing date.