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Mombasa Governor Hassan Joho’s lawyer asks court to dismiss case

By By WILLIS OKETCH | September 3rd 2013


Mombasa Governor Hassan Joho’s lawyers have dismissed as “petty” a suit questioning his academic qualifications.

His legal team filed a preliminary objection to the suit by activist Silas Make Otuke who wants Joho sacked as governor because he allegedly has no valid degree.

On Monday, Joho’s legal team led by William Mogaka indicated they would also challenge the High Court’s jurisdiction to preside over this matter.

Otuke has challenged Joho’s degree from Kampala University in Uganda but Mogaka told Justice Martin Muya on Monday that the case should be dismissed because the issue in dispute before the court now is similar to the one that had already been determined by a competent court.

Prove him wrong

He accused Otuke of abusing the court process and plotting to annoy his client. “The petition is vexatious and frivolous; intended to annoy the first interested party (Joho) who already has been subjected to a litigation to conclusion over the same issue,” said Mogaka.

Mogaka also said some issues raised by Otuke are already in an electoral petition before Justice Fred Ochieng in which gubernatorial loser Suleiman Shahbal is seeking orders to nullify the election of Joho as Mombasa governor.

Justice Muya however ordered the case to be mentioned after two weeks to give Otuke time to file a supplementary affidavit of the new evidence.

But Mogaka said he was ready to nullify the evidence Otuke, who is represented by Gikandi Ngibuini, claims to have against his client. “I’m waiting for the supplementary evidence Otuke wants to file so that I can file my documents to prove him wrong,” said Mogaka.

He said the case amounts to an appeal against a judge of the High Court’s decision.

“All issues raised in this petition relate to the validity of the Mombasa gubernatorial election and for all intents and purposes it is an election petition designed as a constitutional reference,” said Mogaka.

The lawyer said the question on the validity of a university degree from a recognised university was within the mandate and jurisdiction of relevant university and Ministry of Education officials through relevant national commissions of higher education.

Mogaka also said the case against his client should be dismissed because Otuke had not disclosed whether his constitutional or fundamental rights had been violated.

Otuke has also sued the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission and the Attorney General who have not responded.

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