The leader of Azimio La Umoja One Kenya Raila Odinga, has brought a lawsuit against President William Ruto for overstepping his boundaries in the formation of a commission of inquiry on the Shakahola cult tragedy.
According to Odinga’s lawyer, Paul Mwangi, the President has taken on the responsibilities of separate branches of government and other constitutional organizations in creating the Commission of Inquiry, which he calls the “Commission of Inquiry Into the Shakahola Tragedy.”
The opposition leader is seeking a court order to declare the commission unconstitutional for infringing on the mandates of the Director of Public Prosecution (DPP), Independent Policing Oversight Authority (IPOA), Inspector General, and Kenya National Human Rights Commission (KNHRC).
Odinga argues that the commission of inquiry undermines the authority of the Senate, which has already formed an ad-hoc committee on the matter chaired by Tana River Senator Danstan Mungatana.
This committee has 90 days to establish the circumstances surrounding the deaths of the Good News International Church members, linked to controversial Pastor Paul Makenzie.
The committee will also investigate the role of Makenzie, his pastoral team, and the Kilifi County security committee in aiding and abetting the deaths.
The commission of inquiry will be chaired by Court of Appeal judge, Justice Jessie Lesit, and its mandate will be to inquire into the deaths, torture, and inhumane treatment of members and individuals associated with the Good News International Church in Malindi.
The commissioners include Justice (Rtd) Mary Kasango, Frank Njenga (psychiatrist), Eric Gumbo, Bishop Catherine Mutua, Jonathan Lodompui, Wanyama Musiambu, and Albert Musasia.
The commission joint secretaries will be Oliver Karori and Rachel Maina, with Senior Counsel Kioko Kilukumi appointed as lead counsel to be assisted by Vivian Nyambeki and Bahati Mwamuye.
The Commission of Inquiry will prepare a report and submit its recommendations to President Ruto within six months, according to the gazette notice.
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