Court Rejects 14 Nairobi MCAs Bid To Stop Summons Issued By EACC

by Mahakamani News

Fourteen Nairobi MCAs have suffered a major setback after they lost an attempt to stop the EACC from investigating the scuffle as they tried to eject embattled Nairobi speaker Beatrice Elachi from office last year.

This is after High Court dismissed application by the Nairobi County Assembly Members who were seeking to block summons issued by EACC.

Justice John Mativo ruled that the MCA’s did not establish any ground to grant prohibition orders barring the Anti-graft commission to summon them over their participation in impeaching former Nairobi County Speaker Beatrice Alachi.

“I find and hold that that the ex parte application have not established any grounds for this court to grant the orders of prohibition,” ruled Mativo.

This means that the MCAs are now subject to investigations by EACC over their conduct to impeach Elachi.

The fourteen MCA’s filed application in court on 19 of September last year seeking seeking orders to quash the summons dates 11 September 2018 by Ethics and Anti-corruption commission over their participation in the impeachment of the Nairobi County Assembly speaker.

MCA’s Peter Imwatok, Elias Otieno Okumu , Ibrahim Abdi Hassan, Leah Naikane Supuke ,Peter Wahinya Susan Makungu Kavaya, Laura Mwende Mwololo, Nancy Maole Grace Muthami, Mary Njambi,Doris Kanario Ngoyo and Ruth Ndumi Maingi applied for the high to quash summons dated 11 September 2018 by EACC requiring the clerk of the Nairobi County Assembly to provide it with privileged county assembly proceedings and information in relation to the impeachment of Speaker Beatrice Arachi.

They were also seeking for the high court to prohibit EACC from investigating them over their participation in the impeachment of the speaker.

The MCA’s argued that EACC summons were in violation and disregard with article 196(3) of the constitution and sections 10 and 11 of the county assemblies powers and privileges act.

They claimed that the commission has no powers to question legislative proceedings of the county assembly and by purporting to investigate parliamentary proceedings they went beyond their powers.

They argued EACC breached the laid down procedures of handling suspected cases of violation of privileges by Members of County Assembly and the commission usurped the role of the committee powers and privileges.

They further told the court the commission actions are illegal, unreasonable, malicious, abuse of office, procedure, in excess of powers and bad faith.

In a replying affidavit by the EACC investigator Eunice Hinga said the commission has the legal mandate of overseeing and enforcing the implementation of the leadership and Integrity Act.

She told the court that the fourteen being members of the county assembly and state officers are their conduct is subject to the chapter six of the constitution and are expected to respect the values, principles and requirements of the constitution.

The investigator further said the MCA’s were reported to have engaged and committed various acts inside and outside the office of the speaker at the Nairobi County Assembly on 10 of September at about 11:30 am wgich actions include causing commotion, shouting, wailing and forcefully gaining entry into the speakers office in a bid to forcefully eject her from the office.

“The incident was done publicly outside the Assembly debating chambers and was captured by both tge print and electronic media and reportedly depicts the MCA’s shouting, wailing and engaging in violent conduct directed at the speaker and staff in the speakers office,” said Hinga.

She added that the privileges and immunities of members of the county assembly does not apply to the conduct attributed to the MCA’s which borders on unethical conduct or of is criminal nature and the privileges and immunities of the MCA’s is limited to words spoken before or written report to the assembly or committee and the alleged conduct is not part of the debate in the assembly Chambers or committee and such actions do not enjoy immunity.

“The privileges and immunities essentially belong to the house as whole and individual members cannot claim privileges or immunity on matters that are unrelated to their functions in the house,” said Hinga.

Hinga added that the commission was not investigating speaker impeachment or their participation as they allege in their case but their conduct of the 10 of September 2018

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