MOMBASA, Kenya, July 13 (Reuters) – Former Nairobi Governor Mike Sonko has been acquitted by the Supreme Court after months of protracted court battles following the independent elections and borders for Mombasa’s governor’s seat Commission (IEBC) banned him from candidacy.
The three-judge bench in Mombasa also directed the electoral commission to accept Sonko’s nomination and announce him for the race.
The bench, made up of Olga Sewe, Ann Ong’injo’ and Stephen Githinji, issued the orders just days after the governor missed out on the list of candidates for Mombasa’s governor’s seat published in the Official Gazette.
“As a result, the petition is granted and the prayers granted, and the third respondent (IEBC) is directed to accept the nomination documentation submitted by the petitioner (Sonko),” the ruling reads.
Through his attorney, John Khaminwa, Sonko argued that the electoral body’s move to expel him was unreasonable, non-procedural and unlawful.
Sonko further said that being banned from the competition because of his impeachment case was disadvantageous, arguing that his impeachment case was ongoing and that it was currently pending in the Supreme Court.
The former governor was suspended along with Karungo wa Thang’wa, the former member of the Kiambu Chief Executive Committee for Youth, who has since been cleared by the courts to compete.
According to IEBC Chairman Wafula Chebukati, the two were not eligible to run for public office after being forced out of office over integrity issues, as stipulated in Chapter 6 of the constitution.
However, Chebukati noted that those with active cases in court are presumed innocent until all active appeals are resolved.