Sonko sues IEBC, Returning officer for contempt of court and nomination revocation

Mombasa gubernatorial contester Mike Mbuvi Sonko at Milimani Law Courts during the filing of his case at the East African Court of Justice on 18th July 2022. Photo/Sam Alfan.

Mombasa gubernatorial contester Mike Mbuvi Sonko wants the High Court to cite Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission Chairman Wafula Chebukati and Mombasa County Returning officer Swalha Yusuf for contempt of court.

Sonko wants the two to be committed to civil jail for a term not exceeding six months or for such period as the court shall deem fit for deliberate disobedience of the judgement and order of the court delivered on 13th July 2022.

The former Nairobi Governor, also wants an order quashing the revocation of his nomination for Mombasa county governor seat.

The petitioner also wants the court to direct Chebukati and IEBC to gazette him as one of the governor contesters for Mombasa County and include him in the ballot for the elections scheduled for 9th August.

In his application, he wants the High Court to declare that Chebukati and Yusuf are guilty of contempt of court, neglecting and/or willfully declining to gazette him as part of clearance as ordered by the court.

Sonko filed for review of the Supreme Court judgement which led to Chebukati revoking his nomination and equally filed a reference at the East African Court of Justice.

However, prior to that, a three-judge bench quashed the decision by IEBC to bar Sonko from contest for Mombasa Governor and directed IEBC to gazette him as a contester.

Sonko argues that the revocation was done notwithstanding Yusuf and IEBC having knowledge of both the review and reference, the same having been served upon them by way of email, WhatsApp and hard copy letters.

“At the time the revocation was being done, the applicant had already filed his case at the Supreme Court and evidence of payment of court fees was processed and sent to him at 7.02 am on 18.7.2022 and the same was communicated to the 1st respondent (Yusuf) even before she made the impugned decision,” Sonko claims in his application.

Sonko adds that Yusuf has neither withdrew the said illegal and/or unlawful revocation or gazette him.

He adds that the respondents are intent on sanitizing their contempt and circumventing the courts judgement and order by seeking refuge in the Supreme Court’s judgement which did not set aside the clear finding that in the event an impeached person is having a pending appeal or review before court, he or she should not be disqualified from contesting.

“The respondent deliberate inaction and failure to obey the judgement of this esteemed court is a calculated effort to visit pecuniary embarrassment upon the petitioner, along with exposing him to loss of rank and status contrary to the express and ambiguous pronouncement of this court on 13.07.2022,” Sonko states.

Sonko claims that the respondents’ contemptuous actions have been perpetrated with intentional bad faith and are patently disrespectful to the court.