The Supreme Court of Kenya has suspended the planned swearing-in of Acting Nairobi Governor Ann Kananu following a petition filed by former county boss Mike Mbuvi Sonko.
In orders issued by Justice Mohammed Ibrahim on Monday, the court certified the petition as urgent but noted that the conservatory orders are limited to a period of 14 days.
“I HEREBY: 1) Certify the said Motion as Urgent, having read all the above and considered the grounds and justification of the urgency. 2) Grant prayers 1 and 2 of the Motion for a limited period of fourteen (14) days pending inter panes hearing of the said Motion and in terms of the provisions of Section 24 of the Supreme Court Act, 2017. 3) Emphasise that the conservatory order shall be for fourteen (14) days only,” the judge ruled.
Further, the judge directed that the file be placed before Chief Justice Martha Koome to constitute a bench of the court to hear the application inter partes.
Sonko, who was impeached in December last year, was dealt a blow last Friday when the Court of Appeal dismissed his application to block Kananu from taking over as Nairobi boss.
Appellate Judges Wanjiru Karanja, Jessie Lessit, and Justice Jamila Mohammed found that Sonko’s appeal was against the High Court decision which dismissed his application challenging his impeachment and had nothing to do with Kananu being sworn in.
The trio noted that Sonko has been out of office for over 10 months and is such no longer the county boss.
The court also ruled that should Sonko’s appeal be successful and it is found that his political rights were indeed violated, then he can be paid for damages.
They declared that the former county chief’s application did not meet the threshold to be granted the order and that the issue of swearing-in Kananu was not among the grounds raised in his appeal.
Following his removal from office, Sonko moved to the High Court challenging his ouster. County Assembly Speaker Benson Mutura was sworn in as acting governor but later stepped down after MCAs vetted and swore in Kananu.
A three-judge bench dismissed the petition on grounds that the impeachment process fully complied with the law.
As a result, Sonko moved to the court of appeal where he faulted the lower court’s decision saying the judges failed to properly address the constitutional violations itemised in the petition.