Opposition leader and Azimio One Kenya Coalition boss Raila Odinga has threatened sue president William Ruto over the formation of the Commission of Inquiry to probe the Shakahola massacre in Kilifi county terming the move unconstitutional.
On Friday, through a gazette notice, president Ruto constituted a commission of Inquiry to dig facts about the death and burial of more than 112 people whose bodies were buried at Shakahola Forest.
The commission is led by Lady Justice Jessie Lessit.
Yesterday, Raila visited Pastor Ezekiel Odero of the New Life Prayer Centre, amid probe on religious cult activities following Shakahola massacre.
This comes a day after Odero was released on a Sh1.5 million cash bail following his arrest in connection with the Shakahola killings.
However, speaking at a burial ceremony in Kilifi South Constituency, Kilifi County Raila said the new Constitution allows only Parliament to establish a subordinate court or an independent tribunal through an Act of Parliament.
The opposition leader further said only the Judicial Service Commission can determine who to serve in such a tribunal, saying the President no longer has powers to make such decisions.
“The President no longer has power to make any determination of the constitution of a court or an independent tribunal nor who sits in judgement in such court or independent tribunal. The concept of a Judicial Commission of Inquiry appointment by the President is unconstitutional in Kenya since 2010” he said.
The commission of inquiry on the Shakahola massacre will establish the circumstances in which they occurred, inquire legal, institutional, administrative, security and intelligence lapses that contributed to the tragedy and recommend specific action against those found culpable for the offenses.
The President further instituted a taskforce to review the legal regulatory framework governing religious organizations in Kenya.
Meanwhile, yesterday, the government resumed exhuming bodies from the Shakahola forest.
Three female adults were rescued bringing the number of survivors to 61.
Last week, Shanzu Principal Magistrate Yusuf Shikanda allowed detention of the controversial Malindi-based Pastor Paul Nthenge Mackenzie, his wife Rhoda Mumbua Maweu and 16 other co-accused persons in police custody for five more days.
The Magistrate said that he will deliver a ruling on whether the state will be allowed to hold the suspects for 90 days on Wednesday, May 10, 2023.
He also directed the suspects to be detained at Malindi, Marereni and Watamu police stations.
The 18 suspects are being held in connection with the deaths of over 100 persons that allegedly starved to death in the infamous Shakahola forest, also accused police of battering them.
Mackenzie, the leader of the Good News International Church, is facing serious crimes of murder, counselling and aiding persons to kill themselves, aiding suicide, abduction, radicalization, genocide, crimes against humanity, child cruelty, fraud and money laundering, complained of mistreatment in the hands of police.
The Office of the Director of Criminal Investigation (ODPP) filed an application before the Shanzu Senior Principal Magistrate Yusuf Shikanda to continue holding Mackenzie and others for 90 days.