The High Court on Monday, May 29,  suspended President William Ruto’s decision to appoint a judicial inquiry committee to probe the Shakahola massacre.

Justice Lawrence Mugambi ruled that the Azimio coalition in their petition had raised serious issues and therefore the court had to intervene.

Additionally, Justice Mugambi stated that other bodies including the Police, Senate and the Kenya National Human Rights Commission (KNHCR) were already carrying out investigations into the matter and they were using public funds and resources.

He noted that the commission would require to use more public funds for their activities, a move that was not in the interest of Kenyans.

Justice Mugambi added that the public funds used would be a waste if the court then found that the Justice Lessit-led commission was appointed unconstitutionally.

“It is in the public interest to allow the Commission of Inquiry to start its sitting at the expense of the public before the resolution of the constitutional challenges presented. My answer is that it is not,” the Judge ruled.

On Monday, May 22, the High Court stopped any further sittings by the commission to await a final judgement.

Azimio’s lawyer Paul Mwangi wanted Justice Jessie Lessit excluded from the proceedings arguing that Lessit was compromised as she had been selected to lead the commission whose formation and composition the coalition had opposed. 

“She cannot be paid by the executive director while at the same time, she sits in the Judiciary” he stated.

Azimio’s petition argued that the formation of the Lessit-led commission was unconstitutional and that the president lacked the authority to command its formation.

According to the opposition leader Raila Odinga, only Parliament has the authority to establish an inquiry commission into the Shakahola massacre.

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