High Court certifies Mike Sonko ouster case as urgent

Wednesday March 18 2020

Nairobi Governor Mike Sonko. PHOTO | FILE | NATION MEDIA GROUP


The High Court on Thursday certified as urgent a case seeking the ouster of Nairobi Governor Mike Sonko.

Justice Wilfrida Okwany directed the petitioner, lawyer Boniface Nyamu, to serve Mr Sonko with the suit papers.


Mr Nyamu asked the High Court to declare Mr Sonko unfit to hold office.

The case was filed a day after the governor allowed public service vehicles back into the city centre, hours after ban that caused more chaos, confusion and congestion, the very thing his policy he intended to end.

He also claims that Mr Sonko engaged in acts of gross misconduct and cites the tree-planting drive at Moi Forces Academy, where the governor allegedly demeaned Environment Cabinet Secretary Keriako Tobiko in the presence of President Uhuru Kenyatta.

Further, he cites an incident in which goons who harassed former Nairobi Business Community Chairman Timothy Muriuki alleged that the governor had sent them.


Justice Okwany said the case raises weighty constitutional issues which need to be determined.

She gave Mr Nyamu 14 days to serve Governor Sonko with the suit papers.

“I have carefully perused the petition and the certificate of urgency filed by Mr Nyamu. I find that it raises serious constitutional issues which need to be heard and determined,” Justice Okwany said.

She added that the defendant needs to be given time to respond to the issues, a requirement she said he must fulfill in 21 days upon receipt of the suit papers.


The petition cites several grounds for Sonko’s removal among them the ban for matatus to keep off the central business district.

He also accuses the governor of verbally assaulting a member of county assembly, recording private phone calls and refusing to nominate a deputy governor.

“We elected him alongside his deputy governor [believing] they would complement each other in terms of politics and development but immediately after the respondent was sworn in, he started frustrating his deputy until he resigned," the lawyer said.

The deputy governor in question was Polycarp Igathe.


The lawyer further alleges that ever since Sonko was elected, he has “reneged on all his promises and is totally clueless on what is happening in the city”.

He wants the court to bar the governor from transacting any county business until the case is determined.

“The respondent has engaged in different acts of gross misconduct that are insulting to the people of Nairobi and violated the obligations conferred to him under the Constitution as the duly elected governor of Nairobi, therefore making him unfit to hold any public office,” he says.

Mr Nyamu also argues that although Nairobi is a business and commercial hub in eastern Africa, it has become "unworkable and unlivable" because Governor Sonko has neglected his duties.

The petitioner adds that Mr Sonko has been busy with “side shows and publicity stunts” and continues to blame his predecessor Evans Kidero and Interior Principal Secretary Karanja Kibicho for his failures.