Sonko election petition dismissed, petitioners to pay Ksh.5M

Sonko and Igathe
Nairobi Governor-elect, Mike Sonko, and Deputy Governor-elect, Polycarp Igathe, at a past event.

The High Court has dismissed a petition challenging the election of Mike Mbuvi Sonko as Nairobi Governor.

Judge Msagha Mbogholi issued the ruling after the petitioners; Japheth Muroko and Zachaeus Okoth Oliech, made an application on Tuesday for leave to withdraw the election petition whose hearing was scheduled for January 8th to January 12, 2018.

The petitioners cited security reasons, free will and own volition as grounds for the withdraw of the petition.

The judge struck out the petition for want of prosecution after the petitioners indicated they are no longer interested in prosecuting the petition.

“On 7th January, I received a phone call from a number unknown to me, and the caller threatened to murder my wife, family, advocates and myself should I appear in court with my witnesses and advocates to adduce evidence in support of the petition,” said Muroko in an affidavit.

“The person using the aforestated number threatened me and urged me to withdraw the Instant petition or else he would murder me together with my family and advocates.”

Muroko reported the alleged threats at Kilimani Police Station and pursuant to the threats, the petitioner says, he believes that his right to access justice is threatened with infringement.

The petitioners were also ordered to pay Ksh.5 million; Ksh.2.5 million to Sonko and a similar amount to IEBC.

On December 7, 2017 the High Court dismissed an application by the electoral commission to dismiss the petition against Governor Sonko.

The Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) had asked the court to dismiss the petition against Governor Sonko saying that it was “incurable and defective for failing to join a critical party, deputy governor, to the proceedings.”

In the application, Mr. Sonko also insisted that the election petition against his August 8 election should be dismissed on grounds that it is defective for failure to include his deputy, Polycarp Igathe.

However, Judge Mbogholi Msagha struck out the application ruling that the deputy governor is not a mandatory party in an election petition.

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Story By Dzuya Walter
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