AG’s attempts to reconstitute Council of Legal Education board termed illegal

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By OUMA WANZALA
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Attempts by the Attorney-General to reconstitute the embattled Council of Legal Education board have been termed illegal.

In a ruling delivered by High Court Judge George Odunga, Attorney-General Githu Muigai was faulted for imposing upon himself the powers of a Cabinet Secretary in his bid to reconstitute board.

However, the judge noted that since such an obligation was based on the Justice Minister, a position that no longer exists in the current Cabinet, he suspended the declaration for 90 days to enable the Executive to solve this.

“It would be a violation of the Constitution for the President to appoint a person in the position of a Cabinet Secretary when that person in carrying out his or her mandate as such has not sworn or affirmed faithfulness to the Constitution, he or she is not subject to being over sighted by Parliament,” Justice Odunga ruled.

Last year, Prof Muigai, who is also a member of the board, asked various stakeholders to submit names of their nominees to him for consideration as board members.

However, a petitioner, Mr George Bala, moved to court to challenge the directive saying Prof Muigai was not the Cabinet Secretary responsible for legal education matters.

Justice Odunga declared that, whereas Prof Muigai, is a Cabinet member, he is not a Cabinet Secretary and cannot, perform such functions.

Prof Muigai had argued that Mr Bala had not shown any constitutional violation by him.

In February last year, Head of Public Service Joseph Kinyua wrote to the board notifying it of the government’s intention to reconstitute it since its term was ending in February.

On April 4, Justice Odunga, declared that the council was illegally constituted and ordered its reconstitution in 60 days.

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