Reprieve for Sonko after court pauses impeachment motion

Wednesday, December 2nd, 2020 00:00 | By
Former Nairobi Governor Mike Sonko Mbuvi

Nairobi Governor Mike Sonko yesterday received a temporary relief after the Labour Court stopped an impeachment motion against him. 

Justice Nzioki Makau barred the County Assembly from discussing the impeachment motion by Kileleshwa Ward MCA Michael Okumu pending inter partes hearing of the case by Sonko tomorrow.

The judge hence barred the Nairobi County Assembly Speaker and their Senate counterpart from presiding over any session to deliberate the impeachment motion.

“That a conservatory order is hereby issued, prohibiting the County Assembly, by its members, or the clerk and the speaker of Nairobi City County Assembly or any person acting under their behest and direction, from deliberating upon, debating, tabling for debate, making any decision upon, putting to a vote, passing any resolution thereon, or otherwise howsoever determining the motion by Okumu dated November 25 purporting to be a motion for the removal of petitioner Sonko as the Nairobi Governor ostensibly under Article 181(1)(a)(b)and (c) of the constitution,” ordered Makau.

In the case, Sonko has sued Okumu alongside the Clerk of the Nairobi Assembly, the Speaker, the County Assembly, MCA Peter Imwatok.

This is after Okumu, who is also the Nairobi County Assembly Minority Leader; last week tabled the motion seeking Sonko’s ouster.  

The motion listed four key grounds for the removal of Governor Sonko: a gross violation of the law; committing a crime under the national and international laws; and lacking the capability to run the county. 

He argued that Sonko has been in and out of courtrooms on various cases and is therefore unfit to hold public office.

 MCAs also want to impeach the governor for his refusal to assent to the Sh37.5 billion Nairobi City County Appropriation Bill, 2020 that gives Sh27.3 billion to NMS is said to be among the main reasons for the bid to remove him from the helm of City Hall.

Further they want him out after Sonko was barred from office following a Sh357 million-graft case by the Director of Public Prosecutions Noordin Haji.

This second bid to oust the governor comes barely a year after he battled another impeachment motion

According to court documents by Sonko, over 62 MCAs have sworn affidavits in the case saying they have never appended their signatures to any motion as it is was alleged by Okumu who brought the impeachment motion.

Through lawyer Harrison Kinyanjui, Sonko argues that Justice Byrum Ongaya had already stopped his impeachment in February this year and the order remains in place.

Kinyanjui says that on November 26, the County Assembly moved to set in a new motion to unlawfully and wholly unconstitutionally impeach the governor notwithstanding the process had been stopped.

“By your purporting to process a fresh impeachment motion against Hon Mike Sonko Mbuvi while these proceedings are pending, you have committed an act of intentional disrespect to these judicial proceedings…which constitutes contempt of court,” says Kinyanjui.  

Further the lawyer claims the impeachment motion by MCA  Imwatok has not been withdrawn formally arguing that it’s only the member who gave the notice of who can withdraw it which he has not done.

 Kinyanjui says the County Assembly has no power to remove Sonko from an elected position using illegal means and avenues.  

He also claims there are no exhibits that have been given to him to support the allegations by Okumu.

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