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Supreme Court throws out Mike Sonko case for lack of 'concrete evidence'

Former Nairobi Governor Mike Sonko (centre) outside  Milimani Law Courts, July 18, 2022. [Collins Kweyu, Standard]

The Supreme Court has thrown out an application filed by former Nairobi Governor Mike Sonko seeking a review of its judgment affirming his impeachment.

A seven-judge bench composed of Chief Justice Martha Koome, her deputy Philomena Mwilu, and Justices Mohamed Ibrahim, Smokin Wanjala, Njoki Ndung’u, Isaac Lenaola, and William Ouko unanimously agreed that Sonko had not shown that his alleged new evidence would sway the judges to reverse the verdict.

According to the court, Sonko was aware of the materials he was seeking to introduce to the court.

They noted that he had actually told them that he (Sonko) was aware that there was a tribunal case for the removal of High Court judge Said Chitembwe.

The court dismissed Sonko’s 10 prayers noting that at the time he was filing his appeal before the Court of Appeal and Supreme Court, he was aware that President Uhuru Kenyatta had gazetted the members to hear Justice Chitembwe’s petition.

They, however, asserted that although Justice Chitembwe is before the tribunal, the High Court judgment confirming Sonko’s removal was penned by three judges; Chitembwe, Wilfrida Okwany, and Weldon Korir.

“The applicant has not explained the relevance of the so-called new evidence considering what was before the Court was his removal from office, whose evidence was quite different from the conduct of Chitembwe. In addition, it is noteworthy that the applicant’s petition before the High Court was heard by a bench of three judges and further, the first appellate court upheld the conclusion by the High Court,” Supreme Court ruled.

At the same time, Supreme Court said Sonko re-introduced an application for the CJ to withdraw from the case while the same had been dismissed.

In the Supreme Court, he argued that the import of the complaint against Justice Chitembwe is that he was mischievous and biased.

Supreme Court Building, Nairobi. [Elvis Ogina, Standard]

According to him, the Supreme Court’s judgment should be reviewed or set aside based on Justice Chitebwe’s petition.

“ The determination of the proceedings before the tribunal aforesaid shall have a bearing on the impugned judgment of the High Court culminating to this appeal which is likely to appear tainted with the breach of principles of natural justice under Article 47 and 50 of the Constitution of Kenya and breach of the applicant’s fundamental rights,” his lawyer Wilfred Nyamu said.

At the same time, Sonko wants the two courts to find that Justice Koome ought to have withdrawn from the appeal as she had allegedly commented on persons who are impeached from office.

He argued that he did not have sufficient time to file a formal application to have the CJ out of the appeal he filed.

Further, he stated that he initially had an impression that only five Supreme Court judges would hear the appeal.

“To the applicant’s surprise, the honourable Chief Justice Martha Koome presided over the hearing of the appeal,” said Sonko.

The Supreme Court also condemned Sonko to bear the cost of the application.