Nairobi Speaker Urges High Court to Dismiss Application Seeking Review of Sonko’s Ouster

In a recent development, the Speaker of the Nairobi County Assembly has requested the High Court to dismiss an application seeking a review of the decision upholding the impeachment of former Nairobi Governor Mike Sonko. The Speaker, represented by Diro Advocates LLP, argues that no grounds have been established to warrant a review or setting aside of the judgment delivered in 2021.

The application seeking the review was filed by Engineer Daniel Ogwoka Ochweri, a Dagoretti voter who claims that the decision to uphold Sonko’s impeachment was compromised due to the involvement of suspended Judge Said Chitembwe. Ochweri contends that the voters of Nairobi County were deprived of their right to have an elected governor serve his full term.

The Speaker, however, asserts that Ochweri was not a party to the original suit, thereby lacking the legal standing to institute the current application. Quoting section 7 of the civil procedure Act, the Speaker argues that the matter has already been substantially heard and determined, including reaching the apex court, making it res judicata.

“Pursuant to section 7 of the civil procedure Act, this matter, having been substantially heard and determined up to the apex court of the land is res judciata,” reads the court documents.

Furthermore, the Speaker highlights the findings of a 12-member tribunal appointed by former President Uhuru Kenyatta, which revealed that Judge Chitembwe had shown a lack of professionalism and engaged in unbecoming conduct. The tribunal found several allegations against Chitembwe to be proven, including advising Sonko on challenging his ouster and providing guidance on areas that could support an appeal.

Ochweri’s application seeks a declaration that the three-judge bench, presided over by Judge Chitembwe, was not impartial and violated Kenyans’ constitutional rights as voters.

“As a result, I am apprehensive that the voters of Nairobi County were robbed of an opportunity of enjojying their full rights of having their elected Governor serve his full term and having a leader of their choice.” argued Ochweri

The Speaker, however, contends that the tribunal’s findings already established the lack of impartiality and integrity on the part of Judge Chitembwe, thus justifying the need for a review of the previous judgment.

The court has scheduled the matter for further directions on August 8, allowing both parties to present their arguments. Meanwhile, the fate of Mike Sonko, who seeks to have his name included on the ballot, remains uncertain as a decision is expected on July 15.

In a separate development, the High Court has rejected an application by the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions (ODPP) to review orders relating to former Governor Sonko’s corruption case.

“I am of the polite view that the judiciary needs to develop some screening process for revision application, preferably at the registry level. But even at case management sessions. This will be to weed out improper revision application such as this one,” he noted

The court ruled that the request for a review would be a miscarriage of justice and a disruption to the efficient disposal of cases. The decision emphasizes the need to prioritize trials and appeals over interlocutory revision applications, which often prolong proceedings and contribute to case backlogs.

“Many of the applications for revision, are merely a manifestation of the impatient nature of humans, rather than a genuine pursuit of justice and the rule of law,” added the judge

The ruling serves as a setback for the DPP, who had sought to have certain Equity Bank account statements and opening documents admitted as evidence. The court reiterated the importance of following proper appellate procedures, suggesting that an appeal would be the appropriate avenue for contesting the lower court’s ruling.

Overall, these developments highlight the ongoing legal challenges surrounding Sonko’s impeachment and the need to ensure fairness and adherence to judicial processes in high-profile cases.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *