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Supreme Court summons Obado over ‘offensive’ comment

Supreme Court Judge Mohammed Ibrahim. Photo/ FILE

Supreme Court Judge Mohammed Ibrahim. Photo/ FILE

NAIROBI, Kenya, Apr 4 – Supreme Court Judge Mohammed Ibrahim on Friday ordered ousted Migori Governor Zachariah Okoth Obado to appear before the court on Tuesday to show cause why he should not face contempt proceedings, over alleged derogatory comments against the courts.

Even though Justice Ibrahim ruled Obado has a valid case before the Supreme Court, he said it was unfortunate the ousted governor made a statement after the Court of Appeal nullified his victory, in which he allegedly “slammed” the judgement.

It’s alleged Obado said the ruling of the Court of Appeal “cannot be relied on for realisation of justice” and that “there are indications that political bigwigs in Nyanza had interest in the case.”

On Friday, Justice Ibrahim cautioned: “One cannot come to seek and get remedy and justice in court, then at the same time make such derogatory remarks of the courts and justice system. The court will not countenance such acts or conduct which will put it in disrepute.”

He warned that the Supreme Court would not hear Obado’s application, certified as urgent on Thursday, until he answers to the contempt of court claim.

“The Governor and/or his legal counsel shall not be heard by the court, unless and until he explains the statement that he made or purges the act of contempt of court,” Ibrahim directed.

Obado is accused of claiming; “there was a lot of manipulation. This was like a lynch mob. The verdict was not reached at under legal grounds but on political factors. This must stop for Kenyans to have justice. Some political parties are busy interfering with justice and they think this will help. We are past this and what we need is development.”

The Court of Appeal nullified Obado’s election as Migori Governor on March 28 after it found that the results of his General Election win were marred by “grave,” errors and that it was therefore unclear who won.

The same fate befell ousted Meru Governor Peter Munya but the Supreme Court ruled in his favour on Wednesday when it decided to hear his appeal challenging his removal from office by the Court of Appeal.

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