Kenya: Suits challenging Sonko’s suitability for Mombasa governorship are referred to Koome

Mombasa – Chief Justice Martha Koome is expected to give instructions on two petitions filed to block former Nairobi Governor Mike Sonko from contesting in Mombasa.

The petitions were even referred when the Nairobi High Court sent a similar filing to Koome to form a bench to determine Sonko’s suitability for the post.

Two petitions were filed separately in a Mombasa High Court – one by two Mombasa residents and another by three civil society organizations.

In the first petition, filed on April 25, two Mombasa residents – Ndoro Kayuga and George Odhiambo – had sued to prevent Sonko from competing.

They argue that the former governor was removed from office for violating Article 75 of the Constitution and for behaving in a manner that demeaned the office of county governor.

However, on April 27, Kayuga withdrew from the case, saying it took a political route rather than being legal.

However, the second petitioner, Odhiambo, said he would proceed with the matter.

On Tuesday, Mativo allowed Odhiambo to continue the case despite Kayuga’s withdrawal.

In the separate case, filed by three CSOs, Transparency International, Kituo Cha Sheria and Haki Yetu, they argued Sonko violated the constitution.

The organization said Sonko would not be allowed to compete for a seat.

Judge Mativo, who was expected to issue orders on the two cases, said on Wednesday he could not issue any further orders on the matter as the matter is now with the ECJ’s office.

The CJ is now expected to form a three-judge bench to hear the matter.

The cases are also expected to be merged into one as they all threaten Sonko’s chance of entry into the competition.

Last week, Eldoret High Court Judge Reuben Nyakundi ordered the petitions filed in Mombasa, Nairobi and Eldoret to put Sonko before CJ Koome to decide whether to consolidate and move them to Mombasa.

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