The High Court yesterday gave Mombasa Governor Hassan Joho a temporary reprieve over the surrender of his guns.
Justice George Odunga restrained police from arresting Joho and taking away his firearms, capping a day of bitter exchanges between the Government and the Opposition over the guns row.
He further directed the respondents in the case to file their responses and appear before him on Friday.
“I hereby grant the applicant the orders sought pending hearing of the case. The respondents are restrained from taking any action against him,” he ruled.
The Coalition for Reforms and Democracy (CORD) through lawyers James Orengo and Anthony Oluoch had moved to the High Court seeking to restrain Inspector General of Police Joseph Boinnet from taking Mr Joho’s firearms.
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“My client has been a holder of a licensed firearm certificate since June 18, 2008 and for the entire period of eight years from the date of issuance of the certificate, he has never breached the conditions specified under the certificate and neither has he engaged in arbitrary misuse of his firearms,” Mr Orengo told court.
Interior Cabinet Secretary Joseph Nkaissery had warned yesterday morning that Joho would be arrested by 2pm if he would not have complied with the State order to surrender his guns.
“I am giving the Mombasa governor time. He will be arrested by 2pm if he does not comply with an order to give up the weapons,” Mr Nkaiserry told a meeting of the Senate Legal Affairs and Human Rights Committee.
Asked by Kakamega Senator Boni Khalwale to find an amicable solution to the stand-off, Nkaissery responded that he was not going to listen to him until the guns were returned to the chief licensing officer.
“Inform the Mombasa governor that you met the general and he was very emphatic because Joho has politicised the matter,” he said.
But CORD leaders led by Raila Odinga cautioned Nkaissery against intimidating the governor.
Joho, who was with the CORD leaders at the electoral commission’s offices in Nairobi yesterday, told Nkaissery that he was ready to visit the nearest police station if required to do so.
Wiper leader Kalonzo Musyoka asked Opposition supporters to flock to the police station should Joho be arrested.