Counties

Garissa Speaker faults assembly members on his ouster

 Ibrahim Abass

Garissa County Assembly Speaker Ibrahim Abass (centre). FILE PHOTO | NMG

Garissa County Assembly Speaker Ahmed Ibrahim Abass has challenged his removal, arguing that the MCAs used a law which has been disputed in the motion for his ouster.

In a case certified as urgent, Mr Abass further said the amendment of County Governments Act, to provide that Speakers can be removed by a lower threshold and upon a mere notice of an intention to remove the Speaker, then the Speaker should step aside and stop discharging the functions of the office, is illegal.

“This is prima facie discriminatory as the constitution provides for equal protection of all before the law and patently unconstitutional to the extent that it provides for the removal process without adherence to due process and fair hearing as contemplated by Article 50 of the constitution,” he said.

The case, he added, is subject of another case filed by the County Assemblies Forum, and which is pending before the High Court.

Through his lawyer Charles Njenga, Mr Abass further said the lower threshold for the removal of county assembly speakers, introduced through section 11 (1)(c) of the County Governments Act, grossly undermines the effective oversight mandate of the county assembly as provided at Article 185 (3) of the constitution, calling for its nullification.

In the motion for his removal on May 21, the MCAs accused Mr Abass of gross misconduct for allegedly removing official number plates and replacing them with private ones, so as to use the vehicle to run personal errands.

He was also accused of incompetence for allegedly failing to table annual reports of the board and absenting himself from the assembly and abuse of office.

But Mr Abass dismissed the claims saying he has been discharging his functions diligently and that the process for his removal was flawed because no facts were disclosed so that he could respond to them.

“The pettioner avers that the notice of motion is founded on mere allegations devoid of any particulars and evidence.”