Former Nairobi Governor Mike Sonko's petition seeking Sh50 million compensation from the Supreme Court has been struck out by the High Court. Sonko had sued the Supreme Court for unfair conduct, claiming that partiality, lack of independence, and procedural injustice had cost him the Mombasa governor seat and resulted in a loss of campaign funds. However, Justice Olga Sewe allowed a Preliminary Objection (PO) raised by the Attorney General, who argued that the jurisdiction of the High Court was erroneously invoked. The judge stated that the High Court has no jurisdiction to determine the petition, which ought to have been a judicial review rather than a constitutional petition.
Justice Sewe noted that the High Court has the power to interrogate superior courts, including the Supreme Court, in instances where there is an infringement of constitutional rights. The Apex court found that the impeachment of Mr Sonko was in compliance with the Constitution and the law, and therefore, there was no merit in the Petition of Appeal. The judges released a shorter version of the judgement containing seven reasons for their decision to dismiss the appeal.
The Supreme Court also stated that Chapter Six of the Constitution was not enacted for cosmetic reasons. The court dismissed Mr Sonko's claims that his removal from office was illegal, stating that the former governor was even accorded adequate time and facility to respond to the charges against him. The court also dismissed his claims that there was insufficient public participation in the impeachment process. The judges noted that in the impeachment process, there were four counts against Mr Sonko, and all four counts were proved to the required standard.
Mr Sonko was elected as Governor of the Nairobi City County during the 2017 general elections for a term of five years. On assumption of office, he served as Governor until December 17, 2020, when he was removed from office by way of impeachment. The Senate found him guilty of plundering public resources, persistently intimidating and molesting officers of the County Executive Committee, unlawfully using public funds to pay for his daughter’s travel to New York, USA, and persistently and wilfully using, publicizing, and publishing abusive and unbecoming words and language.
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