NAIROBI, Kenya, May 14 – Evans Kidero is still the Governor of Nairobi after the Supreme Court suspended Tuesday’s nullification of his election, and barred the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) from declaring the seat vacant.
The reinstatement was made after Kidero’s lawyer Tom Ojienda filed an urgent application seeking to reverse his ouster.
In his ruling on Wednesday, Justice Mohammed Ibrahim said Kidero had raised serious aspects of law which needed to be addressed.
“Without touching on the merits, I am of the opinion that the application raises some serious issues of law which can only be determined on merit by this court in accordance with due process and before a two-judge bench,” he directed.
He declared that the application will now be heard inter-partes, while stating that the Speaker of the County Assembly cannot assume the seat of Governor pending the hearing.
“The second respondent is hereby restrained from certifying the gubernatorial seat of Nairobi County vacant pending the hearing and determination of the application inter-partes. The Speaker of the County of Nairobi or any other person for that matter is hereby restrained from assuming the office of the Governor of Nairobi County pending the hearing inter-partes of the notice of motion,” he stated.
He thereby temporarily stayed the ruling of the Court of Appeal while stating that Kidero should be given a chance to argue his case.
“I am also of the view that the application needs to be fully heard on its merits and a fair and just decision be made either way, the matter having been certified as urgent to be heard on a priority basis. There will be no prejudice to grant a stay and appropriate conservatory orders for a limited period to facilitate inter-partes hearing,” he stated.
During his submissions, Ojienda had opined that there was a risk of the Nairobi County Assembly Speaker assuming the Governor’s office, unless a restraining order was issued.
He however expressed satisfaction following Ibrahim’s ruling and was confident of a win during the hearing.
“For those who thought that it is over, they are wrong. We have an appeal that we have filed and we hope that we will be heard in good time so that a final determination is made by the Supreme Court on the question of the validity of the election of Evans Kidero,” he emphasised.
“We have today moved to the Supreme Court to challenge the decision of the Court of Appeal. As you are aware, the Court of Appeal vacated the election of Kidero and his deputy,” he said.
Kidero’s case will now be heard on May 23.
Kidero was on Tuesday kicked out as Governor of Nairobi by the Court of Appeal, following a petition filed by former assistant minister Ferdinand Waititu.
Appeal judges GBM Kariuki and Patrick Kiage in a majority ruling declared that both Kidero and his Deputy Jonathan Mueke were not validly elected during the March 4, 2013 General Election.
Justice Mohamed Warsame however dissented.
Kiage dismissed an initial ruling by the High Court and ordered that Kidero pay the costs incurred by Waititu during the appeal.
Kiage said that High Court judge Richard Mwongo failed to order a recount of the votes and further shut out part of the evidence that was given by Waititu’s lawyers during their petition.
However Justice Warsame was of a differing opinion saying that Waititu did not provide enough evidence to back his allegations.