court temporarily suspends proceedings by national assembly to remove auditor general from office

Auditor General Edward Ouko

High court has temporarily suspended the National Assembly proceedings seeking the removal of the Auditor General Edward Ouko from office.

While delivering his ruling, Justice Chacha Mwita said that the suspension is sustained till 10th April 2017 when the petition lodged by activist Okiya Omtata against the National Assembly debate will be heard.

“Pending the inter-parties hearing and determination of this application and the petition herein an order is issued suspending the National Assembly proceedings,” justice Mwita said.

He added that before the matter is determined in court the order will also be “prohibiting agents or any person claiming to act under the authority of the National Assembly from effecting any recommendation that may arise from the said debate.”

Ouko has also filed a similar petition which is now to be heard together with Omtata’s.

In the case, Auditor General Edward Ouko is seeking orders restraining President Uhuru Kenyatta from constituting a tribunal to investigate him or acting on the recommendations of parliament.

“The committee failed to give the applicant prior notice of when and where the accuser would appear,” the lawyer states.

The auditor general is also seeking are a declaration that the process of removing him from office is unlawful.

He further says that given the malicious nature, the unprecedented fast tracking and the unfair manner that the process was undertaken, he is apprehensive that the process will irreparably violate his fundamental rights and freedoms as guaranteed under the constitution.

Ouko argues that parliament, planning in admitting and committing the petition to the Departmental Committee on Finance, planning and Trade for hearing, fundamentally flouted procedural fairness.

He says that he was compelled to face allegations by an accuser even when there were no supporting documents.

National Assembly Speaker Justin Muturi, Clerk of the National Assembly, National Assembly, AG and President Uhuru Kenyatta have been named as respondents in the case.

Auditor-General Edward Ouko appeared before a parliamentary committee to challenge a petition seeking his removal from office.

In the petition before parliament, Emmanuel Mwagambo Mwagonah has accused Ouko of wasting public funds by accumulating a Ksh1 million phone bill on his iPad while he was abroad.

He claimed Ouko frequently traveled out of the country for personal reasons and has been managing the office remotely