Petition against Mike Sonko could be struck out over technicalities

Thursday December 7 2017

Mike Sonko.

Nairobi Governor Mike Sonko. He might join the growing list of politicians who have survived election petitions due to technicalities. PHOTO | AUL WAWERU | NATION MEDIA GROUP 

By SAM KIPLAGAT
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Nairobi Governor Mike Sonko might this morning join the growing list of politicians who have survived election petitions as a result of technicalities.

So far, courts have dismissed 24 election petitions on technicalities while seven others have been withdrawn.

TECHNICALITY

And this morning, Justice Msagha Mbogholi will rule on an application by Governor Sonko who wants the case challenging his August 8 win dismissed because the two petitioners failed to include his deputy Polycarp Igathe as a respondent in the petition.

Mr Sonko, through his lawyers Harrison Kinyanjui and Cecil Miller, urged the court to strike out the petition stating that the omission of serious.

The petition was filed by Mr Japheth Muroko and Mr Zacchaeus Okoth.

Mr Sonko’s lawyers also argued that Mr Okoth failed to disclose his address and other particulars in the petition, adding that this is against the mandatory provisions of petition rules, thereby “rendering it fatally defective”.

“Such non-compliance is fatal inasmuch as it cannot be cured by amendments. The window to secure any lawful amendment to the petition has since closed, and the defects are hence incurable,” Mr Sonko said in a sworn statement.

‘DEFECTIVE’

The Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission, through lawyer Nani Mungai, also termed the omission fatal since Mr Sonko’s election cannot be separated from that of his deputy Mr Igathe.

He argued that having failed to challenge the Deputy Governor as a party to the petition, the petition is incompetent and grossly defective.

He says that striking out the petition would save “precious judicial time and resources and to avoid unnecessary litigation beyond” the point it has reached.

If Justice Msagha Mbogholi allows the petition, Mr Sonko wants the two petitioners compelled to pay him costs amounting to Sh30 million, for defending a “frivolous petition”.