30 September 2011

Kenya: Court Cannot Nullify Tobiko's Job, Says AG

The Attorney General Githu Muigai yesterday said no one can use the court to nullify appointment of Keriako Tobiko as the director of public prosecution. The AG told a High Court seating in Nairobi that the prayers sought by the Kenya Youth Parliament and the Kenya Youth League were in vain as they had been overtaken by events.

In a response filed in court, the AG said the person appointed as DPP has already taken the oath of office and his removal can only be through a tribunal as stipulated by Article 158 of the constitution. But the youth groups argued that there were suspicions surrounding his appointment.

They pointed out that even Parliament reluctantly approved his name as it called for further investigations into his integrity. The youth through lawyer Anthony Oluoch said with the foregoing, it was wrong for President Kibaki to appoint Keriako Tobiko. "This was in breach of public trust," they said.

Oluoch said the high court had the authority to interpret any matter that was inconsistent with the constitution. The youth told Judges John Mwera, Mohamed Warsame and Philomena Mwilu the appointment should be quashed until all the allegations and complaints raised against him by members of public are fully investigated and cleared by relevant government authorities.

It is their argument that public complaints presented reveal issues touching on his competence, integrity, honesty and suitability for the office. But in reply, the AG said the high court does has no jurisdiction to hear the matter as doing so was akin to usurping the powers of Parliament, which did the vetting.

The AG added that the petitioners had not provided any evidence to prove the allegations they were making against Tobiko and no affidavit had been filed to show that the DPP breached any statutory provision. The hearing was adjourned to October 11.

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