20 April 2017

Kenya: Meru High Court Dismisses Case Seeking to Bar Munya From Poll

The High Court in Meru has dismissed a petition seeking to block Meru Governor Peter Munya from defending his seat.

In a ruling made on Thursday, High Court Judge Alfred Mabeya struck out the case saying the petitioner, Mr Isaiah Kithinji, did not exhaust all avenues set out by the State before filing the petition.

Justice Mabeya said that the businessman should have first filed a complaint before the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission before seeking court audience.

He noted that the EACC had already admitted they were probing the county government over various allegations.

"EACC should be allowed to carry [out] the investigation first before the petition is brought to court. The court will not undermine independent institutions, therefore the petition is struck out," said Justice Mabeya in his ruling.

FREE TO CAMPAIGN

Speaking after the ruling, lawyer Bonbegi Gesicho who held brief for Mr Okong'o Omogeni said the county chief was free to campaign after the ruling.

He asked locals seeking to file similar petitions in future to follow the right procedures before rushing to courts.

The businessman had moved to court seeking to have the PNU leader stopped from defending his seat, citing financial impropriety in his administration for the last five years.

Through lawyer Kiogora Mugambi, Mr Kithinji sought to have Mr Munya barred from presenting his nomination papers.

But Governor Munya told the court that only EACC has powers to bar him from contesting in the August 8 polls.

He said the High Court sitting in Meru lacks jurisdiction to hear the matter.

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