Court prioritises Baki’s appeal against officers

A three-man Supreme Court Bench today allowed Police Commissioner Gari Baki leave to appeal a decision of the National Court last year.

The full court allowed Baki leave to appeal the decision of the National Court when it allowed for a judicial review to be conducted into the manner in which Thomas Eluh and Timothy Gitua were terminated from office in September last year.

Chief Justice Sir Salamo Injia, Justice Ere Kariko and Justice Sir Kina Bona allowed for Baki to appeal that decision and also stayed the judicial review at the National Court pending the outcome of this appeal before the full court.

The court allowed the appeal while listing the matter to be expedited or prioritised for hearing so it can be dealt with quickly by the full court.

A tentative date was set for the matter to return for the hearing of the substantive appeal next Friday.

Chief Justice Injia also told the counsels involved in the matter to research other jurisdictions and cases of the application of the Police Act and whether a police commissioner can review a decision of termination over disciplinary issues.

Both officers were terminated over disciplinary issues however, that has been stayed by the National Court. This stay against Eluh and Gitua's termination remains.

Baki's application for leave that was moved this morning was filed on two main grounds: One was that both officers did not exhaust all remedies before running to the court saying that they should have gone back to the Police Commissioner to review his decision.

On this ground, his argument was that the National Court acting Judge (then) Leka Nablu fell into error when she did not consider section 26 (5) of the Police Act. Nablu had ruled then that it was not right for the police commissioner to review his own decision. She found that the two officers had an arguable case allowing leave for a judicial review.

The second ground seeking leave was for the court to decide whether or not the police commissioner's ability to review his own decision was a proper subject for a judicial review.

Eluh and Gitua's lawyer submitted before the court that it was not appropriate for the police commissioner to review his own decision and that his decision is final as per section 27 of the Police Act.


Sally Pokiton