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Counties

Sonko woes: court halts impeachment...for now

Mike Sonko
Nairobi Governor Mike Sonko. FILE PHOTO | NMG 

The Employment and Labour Relations court has said that Nairobi Governor Mike Sonko's impeachment motion should not proceed except in strict compliance of the County Assembly standing orders.

The decision by Justice Byram Ongaya on Monday comes after Sonko filed an application seeking to stop the County Assembly from debating tomorrow's impeachment motion against him on grounds that the process is a sham.

The county boss argued that legal procedures had not been followed as he had not been served with documents containing the allegations levelled against him.

"The proposed impeachment motion against the applicant is adjourned and shall not proceed except in compliance with the standing orders," said Justice Ongaya.

The decision means that the impeachment motion will not proceed if the mover fails to follow laid-down procedures such as serving the governor with a notice and other documents as evidence of the allegations levelled against him.

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In taking a central position, the court has neither allowed nor disallowed the debate, only insisting that Assembly rules must be followed during the process.

Sonko had rushed to court in a last ditch effort to stop a section of Nairobi MCAs from tabling a censure motion tomorrow (Tuesday).

The governor in an application certified urgent complained the impending impeachment was illegal.

"The petitioner was requested by the speaker to put a response which is impossible for lack of evidential materials. The clerk of the county assembly Jacob Ngwele in his replying affidavit says he has not seen or approved such a motion," lawyer Harrison Kinyanjui submitted on behalf of the governor.

He noted that Sonko is handicapped on responding to the proposed impeachment motion owing to the gap.

"There will be no justice or fair proceedings if the impeachment continue while the petitioner has no protection of the law," stated Mr Kinyanjui while describing the impeachment a kangaroo process.

"According to the standing orders, which are the guiding principles on operations of the House, it is mandatory that a motion before debating should be received by the clerk," the lawyer added.

Despite a State House meeting with President Uhuru Kenyatta over the weekend calling for them to drop the impeachment plan, some MCAs -- including Minority Whip Peter Imwatok (Makongeni) who wasn't at the State House meeting -- are adamant about continuing with the motion.

“I will not change my mind. The motion is a private one and shall be coming on the floor of the House on Tuesday," said Mr Imwatok.

Another MCA, Embakasi's Michael Ogada, said his reasons to remove Sonko from office had not changed and that he would second the motion.

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