Petitioner withdraws in case seeking to bar Sonko from polls

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A case in which two petitioners are seeking to bar Mike Sonko from vying in Mombasa will continue despite one of them pulling out.

On April 25, two Mombasa residents — Ndoro Kayuga and George Odhiambo — filed a case at the High Court in Mombasa under a certificate of urgency, asking the court to bar the former Nairobi governor. 

They said Sonko was impeached for contravening Article 75 of the Constitution and for behaving in a manner that demeaned the office of a governor.

Sonko was impeached on December 17, 2020 for gross violation of the Constitution. 

He contested the impeachment by the Senate at the High Court and Court of Appeal but the courts upheld the impeachment.

However, two days later, Kayuga swore a supporting affidavit and withdrew from the case on April 27, handing the governor a glimmer of hope, albeit temporarily.

However, Odhiambo, the second petitioner, told the court that he was keen to proceed with the case in which Sonko, Wiper party and IEBC are listed as first, second and third respondents respectively.

On Tuesday, Mombasa High Court judge John Mativo allowed Odhiambo to continue with the case, despite Kayuga’s withdrawal.

Through lawyer Willis Oluga, Odhiambo sought the court’s permission to proceed with the case.

“We filed this petition jointly with the first petitioner and I gave the first petitioner authority to swear the supporting affidavit on my behalf as he confirmed on oath at paragraphs 1 and 2 of the supporting affidavit,” Odhiambo’s affidavit reads in part.

“Unlike the first petitioner, who seeks to withdraw the petition, I am keen to proceed with the same and therefore the first petitioner cannot withdraw the entire petition.”

Odhiambo said Kayuga was at liberty to withdraw from the petition, but that should not block him from proceeding with the same. 

Justice Mativo granted the request of the second petitioner, thus allowing the lawsuit to go on. The case will be mentioned again on Wednesday at 2pm.

Last week judge Mativo also issued orders barring the IEBC from clearing the former Nairobi governor for the August 9 polls.

Justice Mativo issued the injunctions pending the hearing and determination of an application for conservatory orders by three civil society organisations.

The organisations had filed a petition seeking to have Sonko disqualified from contesting.

Transparency International, Kituo Cha Sheria and Haki Yetu said Sonko had violated the Constitution, an act that led to his impeachment.

“The IEBC is likely to approve and clear Sonko to run for the position of governor Mombasa since he has already been nominated by the Wiper ….,” the petition read in part.

On Monday, IEBC chairman Wafula Chebukati said aspirants who were impeached will be barred from contesting.

He spoke during a meeting with presidential aspirants at the Bomas of Kenya.

 

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