Embattled Embu County Governor Martin Wambora Wednesday won the first round of his legal battle when three judges reinstated him.
The Judges sitting at Kerugoya High court stayed the Senate gazette notice which impeached Mr Wambora and ordered the case be heard inter partes on February 24.
He will continue serving until the matter is heard and determined by a three-judge bench.
This followed an application by Mr Wambora who argued that the Senate disobeyed a Nairobi High Court order barring it from taking any action against his client who had been impeached by the Embu County Assembly over allegations of corruption and abuse of office.
The Judges, Cecily Githua, Boaz Olao and H.I. Ong’udu certified the application as urgent and allowed it.
They directed the Embu County Assembly and other respondents be served with the correspondences with immediate effect.
“These correspondences should be served immediately pending the inter partes hearing,” Justice Ong’udu ruled.
Through his lawyer, Mr Ahmednassir Abdullahi, the Governor said the Speaker of the Senate erred when he constituted an 11-member committee to discuss the resolutions of the County Assembly and kicked out Mr Wambora from office even after a court order was issued stopping him from doing so.
He argued that any subsequent step taken by any body after the court spoke through a court order was null and void.
“Any action which was taken after the order was served to the Speaker and the Senate is worthless. Once a legal order is issued not even the legislator, the executive or anybody is supposed to disobey it,” he said.
He warned of the judicial crisis if court directives continued to be defied and nothing is done against the offenders.
“If courts can’t bite, there will be a crisis in the Judiciary and no one will seek legal redress,” he said.
Mr Wambora urged the Judges to set aside the gazette notice of the Senate which threw him out of power until his impeachment case he has filed is heard and concluded.
Earlier Mr Wambora told the Judges that his deputy, Ms Dorothy Nditi took over his position illegally and should she should not be the Governor.
He said Article 74 of the constitution clearly states that before assuming a state office, an officer should take an oath of office.
Mr Wambora observed that Ms Nditi has not been sworn in as the Governor and therefore she was in office illegally.
But lawyer Kibe Mungai who is representing Ms Nditi disagreed with Mr Wambora saying his client was legally in office.
He argued that Article, 182 of the Constitution allowed Ms Nditi to take over the office of the Governor immediately.
“The constitution provides that if a vacancy occurs in the office of the governor the deputy takes over for the remainder of the term of the County Government.
On January, 28 the County Assemby passed a motion of impeachment against Governor Wambora and her deputy over allegations of corruption and abuse of office.
The Assembly members voted in favour of the motion to impeach the Governor and his deputy despite a court order that had barred them from debating the motion.
Immediately after the court’s ruling, Mr Wambora’s supporters burst in celebrations.
They sang victory songs within the precincts of the court, much to the amazement of the public.