Nairobi governor Mike Sonko is battling to stop the resurgence of a petition challenging his election. Sonko's lawyers stood up for him against High Court judge Msagha Mbogholi's decision to strike out the petition by Japheth Muroko and Zacheaus Okoth.
The governor mentioned to the Court of Appeal yesterday that the petitioners were given an opportunity to prosecute the case but did not do so.
Mr Sonko stated that giving the petition a chance to restart would be unfair as it would subject him to a double judicial process. He accused the petitioners of trying to blackmail him.
Kinyanjui mentioned that the governor’s supporters needed the case to end and that restarting it would subject them to uncertainty.
Justice Mbogholi in January struck out the petition after the petitioners filed a notice of withdrawal.
The judge said he dropped off the application for withdrawal by the petitioners to save Sonko and the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission from dealing with another person taking over the case.
“Application for withdrawal can be made any time before a petition is determined. Election petitions are constitutional processes which must reach a conclusion. The judge made a mistake in striking it out. He should have allowed the petitioners to be substituted,” said Awele.
Dr. Khaminwa requested the Appeal Court not to ignore the fact there were threats and intimidation before the petition was heard. He brought to light that a report from the police was filed in court but the judge ignored it.
“He was a witness in the election petition and as such, he was not a petitioner envisaged to appeal against any decision of the court, to which extent he lacks the basis to challenge any decision of the election court,” said Kinyanjui.