NAIROBI, May 27 – The High Court has temporarily blocked the deportation of Wajir South parliamentary aspirant Mohammed Sirat.
Justice Roselyn Wendoh gave Sirat a 60-day reprieve and ordered him to file and serve parties in the case within seven days.
Sirat was reportedly arrested at his Nairobi residence on Sunday, following a deportation decree signed by Immigration Minister Otieno Kajwang.
He was allegedly held at the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (JKIA) with an Australian passport, which he purportedly holds in the same names as his Kenyan documents.
The High Court on Monday temporarily stopped the hearing of his election petition filed against Wajir South MP Abdirahman Ali Hassan, pending the determination of his citizenship.
Sirat is challenging the election of Hassan alleging irregularities.
Hassan’s lawyer, Ahmednasir Abdullahi made an application before Justice Luka Kimaru, saying that Sirat’s nationality was the main issue in the petition.
Abdullahi alleged: “The petitioner is in fact, not a Kenyan; he is an Australian since he holds an Australian passport with the names and date of birth in his Kenyan identity card.”
He further alleged that police seized Sirat’s passport alongside travel documents detailing how he came to Kenya in 2006.
Abdullahi told the court that on Friday the Australian Embassy had allegedly confirmed to the Immigration Department that Sirat was their citizen.
The Electoral Commission of Kenya (ECK) through lawyer Arnold Ong’anda told the judge that they had the machinery to determine Sirat’s nationality.
Ong’anda argued that the ECK was also in a position to establish whether it was ‘duped, misled or defrauded’ to allow Sirat contest the election when his nationality was in doubt.
Justice Kimaru ruled that nationality was fundamental in an election petition ‘since a foreigner cannot be allowed to challenge the election of a leader in Kenya’.
Cholmondeley appeals against High Court ruling
Meanwhile, the Court of Appeal will on June 13 rule on whether Naivasha rancher Tom Cholmondeley will be compelled to produce witness statements in court as earlier ordered by the High Court.
This followed Cholmondeley’s appeal on Tuesday against a ruling by Justice Muga Apondi requiring him to give witness statements to the prosecution before he calls his witnesses.
Director of Public Prosecution Keriako Tobiko argued that there was no basis upon which Cholmondeley should appeal against the High Court decision since it was meant to ensure a fair hearing.
Cholmondeley’s lawyer Fred Ojiambo contested whether it was correct for the prosecution to hold the same rights as an accused person.
The rancher is accused of murdering a stonemason Robert Njoya in May 2006 in his Naivasha farm and has since been in custody.