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Immediate former Abdi Muhamud (left) and Governor Abdi Muktar (right)/CFM

County News

Ex-Wajir Governor stakes claim on office as suit referred to High Court bench

The development comes as the High Court in Meru referred the petition that sought nullification of Abdi’s impeachment to Chief Justice Martha Koome, for the formation of a three-judge bench for determination.

NAIROBI, Kenya, May 25 – The power struggle in the Wajir County occasioned by the resolution of the Senate to uphold the impeachment of the former Governor Mohammed Abdi Muhamud took a fresh twist on Tuesday.

This is after both Abdi and his former Deputy Ali Muktar who was sworn-in last Tuesday claimed to be incharge of the county.

The development comes as the High Court in Meru referred the petition that sought nullification of Abdi’s impeachment to Chief Justice Martha Koome, for the formation of a three-judge bench for determination.

Justice Patrick Jeremy Otieno further ordered that court orders issued on May 18, halting the replacement of Abdi as Wajir Governor despite his impeachment by the Senate remain in force.

“It is hereby directed that the matter be heard by more than one judge and it shall henceforth be dealt with after the Chief Justice exercises mandate under Articles 165(4) of the Constitution,” the orders read.

Addressing a media conference at the Council of Governors offices, Abdi maintained that he is still in charge of the county despite his ouster by the Senate and the subsequent swearing-in of Muktar as Governor.

Abdi said a political cabal which was intent on kicking-out his administration even as they await Koome to form the three-judge bench to hear his petition.

“I am perturbed by some of Wajir political leaders who hurriedly organised and conducted an illegal swearing-in ceremony in an attempt to remove a popularly elected governor from office.”

“This proves that my purported removal was well engineered from the beginning after a long protracted battle of election petitions that ended up in the Supreme Court upholding my victory,” the impeached Governor said.

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The CoG through its Chairperson Embu Governor Martin Wambora criticized the process of his impeachment saying it was not only unprocedural but also unlawful.

Abdi appealed with his former deputy not to be “misled into carrying out the executive duties of a Governor” since there is a pending petition and four court orders on the matter.

“To my Deputy Governor, I know you as a humble person who has never shown any ill-intentions all along, I reaffirm our relationship will remain the same as we continue to serve the great and noble people of Wajir as mandated under the law,” he stated.

But a defiant Muktar on his part said he will not be distracted from ensuring that his constituents receive services.

“I had three and half years with my former boss, I gave him time to deliver to the people of Wajir but unfortunately you know what happened. We are appealing to him to come on board as a citizen of the county and help us to deliver to the people of Wajir. We know he has been to a number of courts, and now the matter is with the CJ, but until then I am the Governor of Wajir, there is no vacuum,” Muktar affirmed

He added that the county administration headed by his predecessor stifled development with residents crying for basic services including the crucial health services.

“There have been very many serious issues in Wajir. Hospitals were closed. Health workers were not at work. We faced some very small issues that any county government can handle,” the newly sworn-in governor stated.

Muktar was in the company of the elected leaders from the region led by Eldas MP ,Adan Keynan, Wajir West MP Ahmed Kolosh and Environment and Forestry Chief Administrative Secretary Mohammed Elmi said they will respect the decision of a three-judge bench set to hear petition seeking to reverse the impeachment.

Members of the County Assembly from the region were however adamant as they voiced their support for the new administration.

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“We wanted to make sure that simple operations such the county offices operating for 24hrs, like ambulance responding to emergency calls, hospitals being stocked with drugs are returned back that was our main objective for the impeachment of the governor,” Tulatula/Elnoor MCA Abdullahi Isaak said.

“We don’t want sideshows, we don’t want incitement of our peace loving people. We don’t care about clanism, we don’t care who is who, we just want our county to get what it is supposed to get and prosper because of devolution,” added another MCA.

Thirty-seven out of the 45 ward representatives voted to send the governor home for what they also said was an attempt to undermine their oversight role, abuse of office, irregular expenditures and failure to update ward representatives on the status of development projects among other reasons.

The MCAs further accused Governor Abdi of violation of Article 176 (1) and 185 of the Constitution of Kenya, by disregarding the county assembly as an arm of the county government.

He was also accused of undermining its three cardinal roles of legislation, oversight and representation through systematic non-remittance of the requisition funds for the county assembly’s operations amounting to Sh70,216,902.

The impeachment motion further stated that the county administration exceeded the recurrent expenditure limit of 35 per cent of the county government’s total revenue against the law as well as violating the Public Finance Management Act (2015) by operating 19 bank accounts in local commercial banks and not at the Central Bank of Kenya.


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