High Court fails to stop MPs' urge to oust Auditor General

Omtatah filed a petition seeking to stop the parliament from debating Ouko's ouster.

 

High Court Judge, Chacha Mwita, has instead directed the petitioner, Okiya Omtatah, to file and serve the respondents in the case and appear for inter-party hearing on March 6.

Earlier, activist Okiya Omtatah moved to court seeking to shield Auditor Ouko, from allegations of wasting public funds that could lead to his removal from office. Mwita has ruled that the petition lacks merit.

In his petition, Omtatah had claimed the allegations loaded against Ouko were being fueled by members of the Executive and the Legislature who want to get rid of Ouko.

The respondents, the National Assembly, its Speaker Justin Muturi, the Attorney General Prof Githu Muigai, Emmanuel Mwagambo Mwagonah are yet to appear before parliament.

Edward Ouko, the Director of Public Prosecutions, the National Police Service, the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission and the Senate are listed as interested parties in the case.

Mwagonah was slated for appearance before the committee chaired by Ainamoi MP Benjamin Langat last week but skipped. He instead sent a letter saying he was “living in fear as his petition had created animosity.”

Political wars

Omtatah earlier, in his petition, said the wars facing the Ouko are being fueled by members of the Executive and the Legislature, who are fast-tracking his immediate removal from office.

“Parliamentary Service Commission (PSC) irregularly appointed the firm of Baker Tilly Merali to audit the accounts of the Office of the Auditor General,” reads part of Omtatah’s petition.

Its continues: “When some MPs realised the error, they devised a scheme to wriggle the PSC out of trouble by accusing Ouko of compromising the audit firm by awarding it a contract to do another job within the office.”

Omtatah, the Executive Director for Kenyans for Justice and Development (KEJUDE), further blamed President Uhuru Kenyatta for mocking Ouko State House Summit on Anticorruption and Accountability in October last year, over his involvement in the audit of Eurobond proceeds.

He has hit at majority leader Aden Duale for leading an onslaught against Ouko by publicly accusing him of crafting audit reports to settle political goals.

He has called on the court to dismiss the petition based on the strict timelines within which the National Assembly operates and the fact that parliament may not have the capacity to carry out proper investigations.

On Thursday, the National Assembly’s Finance and Trade Committee handling Mwagambo’s petition ruled that he appears before the committee in person to prosecute the petition despite his application to have the committee consider his written memorandum on grounds that his life is in danger.

Ouko has not spoken about his willingness to appear before the committee yet.

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