2022 ElectionsNEWS

IEBC locks Sonko out of Mombasa governor race

IEBC Disputes Resolution Tribunal has upheld a decision by the Mombasa returning officer disqualifying ex-Nairobi governor  Mike Sonko from the gubernatorial race.

The panel said Sonko failed to provide compelling reasons to “disturb the decision by the returning officer” in rejecting his application.”

“The complaint lacks merit and is hereby dismissed,” Wambua Kilonzo said in the ruling on Monday.

IEBC commissioner Justus Nyang’aya who read the panel’s judgement stated the complainant failed to submit an original degree certificate for him to be cleared.

Nyang’aya said as provided for in Section 22 (1) (b) one must submit a degree certificate which is a requirement that bounds all aspirants and the aspirant was under obligation to present it.

“The certification that is being accepted by IEBC for the purpose of 2022 general election is the certification by the institution issuing the document,” he stated.

Certification by an advocate, he noted, is not allowed even though he used the same document for clearance in the 2017 poll.

“Nothing has been placed before this commission to prove that the complainant possesses a degree certificate,” Nyang’aya said.

He, however, said while the complainant later presented it on the last day of the exercise, such was done at 4:30 pm which was beyond the stipulated time.

“The complainant availed the degree certificate but he failed to present it at 4 pm for consideration,” he stated.

Impeachment, he stated, must be supported by an order from the court.

Sonko, in his complaint, had argued that it was wrong for the returning officer to disqualify him despite a pending appeal before the Supreme Court on his. impeachment.

In supporting his argument that he presented the letter from the court, Sonko even produced three video clips for the panel.

Moses Kipkogei who had appeared for the IEBC submitted that failure by the aspirant to submit his degree certificate, a certified copy of the certificate from the relevant institution and breach of Article 75 of the Constitution were the grounds for the rejection of his candidature.

Wilfred Nyamu who represented Sonko alongside Dan Maanzo, and Kevin Katisya among others had said there was no requirement in law that a certified copy of the certificate must be presented.

“The candidate has not been given an opportunity to defend himself…IEBC chair has overlooked all the fundamental rights of a citizen, he made arbitrary rules to the detriment of the Wiper party,” Katisya told the committee during the hearing.

Katisya said the returning officer acted unfairly by applying double standards.

The final stroke by IEBC now puts Sonko’s fate in limbo.

Sonko will, however, await the determination of a High court ruling to know his fate.

He is seeking orders to quash the commission’s decision not to clear him to vie for the Mombasa gubernatorial seat.

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