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Court blocks arrest of governors Kingi, Joho and 7 MPs

POLITICS
By Patrick Beja | March 25th 2016
Anti-riot police officers block the main entrance to Malindi Police Station where CORD leaders had gone to hand over a court order barring police from arresting Mombasa Governor Hassan Ali Joho and his Kilifi counterpart Amason Kingi. [Photo: GIDEON MAUNDU/STANDARD]

CORD leader Raila Odinga yesterday led the Opposition in securing orders stopping the State from arresting two Coast governors, a senator and several legislators.

Raila, who was accompanied by CORD co-principals Moses Wetang’ula and Kalonzo Musyoka, flew to Malindi where the High Court barred the police from arresting the Coast leaders, who are accused of fuelling violence in the March 7 Malindi by-election.

The Opposition chiefs followed the proceedings as Justice Said Chitembwe granted the orders in favour of governors Amason Kingi (Kilifi) and Hassan Joho (Mombasa) as well as Senator Stewart Madzayo (Kilifi), six MPs and 15 ODM supporters.

MPs covered by the protection orders are Abdulswamad Nassir (Mvita), Suleiman Dori (Msambweni), Aisha Jumwa (Kilifi), Mishi Mboko (Mombasa), Irshad Sumra (Embakasi South) and Agostinho Neto of Ndhiwa.

The orders were sought by Siaya Senator James Orengo, who is also the lawyer for CORD.

The High Court was packed with supporters, including new Malindi MP Willy Mtengo and Taita Taveta Governor John Mruttu.

The CORD leaders later led their supporters in serving the orders on the Malindi OCPD and police station commander.

In the ex-parte application before Justice Chitembwe, Orengo sought the orders pending a substantive court hearing to quash the State’s orders to the leaders to record statements with the police as part of robbery with violence investigation.

MATTER URGENT

“I certify this matter as urgent and order police to stop arrest and prosecution of the second and third petitioners who are governors of Mombasa and Kilifi and the rest of petitioners in this case,” said Justice Chitembwe.

The judge said the court did not expect the elected leaders to abscond future court appearances in the matter.

Orengo told the judge that his clients were apprehensive that the State was about to order their arrest and prosecution, and argued that the Bill of Rights under the 2010 Constitution permitted citizens to seek the kind of protection he was seeking for his clients.

In the petition, ODM is the first petitioner with Joho and Kingi the second and third respectively. The ODM party leader is named as an interested party.

The judge freed the petitioners on a personal bond of Sh10,000 each, sparking celebrations immediately the court process was over.

Justice Chitembwe ruled that the State and the petitioners return to court on April 18 for hearing on the substantive challenge on the State’s orders.

The orders are to be served on the Attorney General, Inspector General of Police, Interior Cabinet Secretary and Coast Regional Co-ordinator Nelson Marwa.

Outside the court, ODM leaders railed against the Jubilee government and accused Marwa and other State agents of orchestrating the harassment of Opposition leaders to assuage Jubilee’s loss in the Malindi by-election.

“Marwa and police are acting at the behest of Jubilee,” said Raila.

Kalonzo said the CORD leaders would stick together to the 2017 elections to dislodge Jubilee from power through the ballot.

Lawyer Orengo told CORD supporters that the court had not only stopped the impending arrest and prosecution of the leaders, but also allowed the governors to keep their firearms and security officers.

Earlier, the CORD principals had arrived at the Malindi airport at about 10am, and were received by governors Joho, Kingi and Mruttu.

They then met their lawyers at Karen Blixen hotel in Malindi town before driving to the Malindi High Court.

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