The High Court has barred the Nairobi County Assembly from vetting Deputy Governor nominee Anne Mwenda.
In a ruling delivered on Monday, Justice Mumbi Ngugi suspended the vetting process pending the hearing and determination of a petition filed by a Nairobi resident identified as Peter Agoro.
In the petition, Agoro argues that Ms Mwenda’s appointment by Governor Mike Sonko contravenes orders issued by the Anti-corruption court against the county boss charged with graft.
Sonko was in December barred from accessing his office after he was charged with 19 counts of graft over Ksh357 million case.
His bail terms also require him not to contact witnesses in the case.
Agoro questions the timing of Ms Mwenda’s nomination, further arguing that there is a high possibility of Ms Mwenda interfering with witnesses and evidence in the case as she is a confidant of the governor.
“Sonko after being charged, was ordered not to go to office or interfere with witnesses which order was given to ensure that the integrity of the prosecution process is insulated from any interference,” Agoro said adding that there was a clear motive by Sonko to defeat justice.
The vetting exercise had been scheduled for Tuesday, February 18, as the assembly resumes its sittings.
The ODPP and County Government have now been directed to file their responses in the case.
The case will be mentioned on March 10, 2020.
Embattled Governor Mike Mbuvi Sonko nominated Ms Mwenda on January 6, 2020.
Prior to the nomination, Ms Mwenda served as the county Disaster Management and Coordination Chief Officer.
She was cleared and her name submitted to the assembly for vetting by the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) on February 11, 2020.
Nairobi has been without a Deputy Governor for over two years following the resignation of Polycarp Igathe on January 12, 2018. Igathe cited frustrations from his boss as the reason for the decision.
The crisis at City Hall was heightened after Sonko was blocked from accessing his office pending hearing and determination of the case.