The High Court has temporarily suspended the swearing in of Paul Mutunga Mutungi as the substantive Nairobi County Deputy Governor.
Justice Hedwig Ong'undi on Friday, November 26, issued the temporary orders stopping Mutunga from taking oath pending the hearing and determination of a suit lodged by Human Rights activist Okiya Omtatah.
"To preserve the substratum of this matter temporary orders of prohibition prohibiting Paul Mutunga from taking oath of office as Nairobi city county deputy Governor and or assuming or occupying the office of the Nairobi city county deputy Governor pending the inter-parties hearing of this application," justice Ong'undi ruled.
Further, the court issued orders restraining governor Anne Kananu from appointing Mutunga as Nairobi County Deputy Governor pending the hearing of the case.
The orders by the court were issued after activist Omtatah challenged the eligibility of Mutunga to hold the office of the deputy Governor given the ongoing corruption cases against him pending in the Anti-Corruption and Economic Crimes Division of the High Court.
"As a person facing active criminal charges in the Anti-Corruption and
Economic Crimes Division of the High Court, Paul Mutunga Mutungi is ineligible for appointment as Deputy Governor Nairobi City County," he argued
The activist says it is impossible for the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission(EACC), which is actively criminally prosecuting Mutunga in multiple suits in the Anti-Corruption and Economic Crimes Division of the High Court to have cleared him for appointment as the Deputy Governor Nairobi city County.
Omtatah has also challenged the constitutional and legal validity of the process used to nominate, vet, and approve Mutunga for appointment as a deputy Governor.
In the case, Omtatah has sued Mutunga, Governor Kananu, Nairobi city county Assembly, EACC, and Attorney General listing IEBC and the Chief Justice as interested parties in the matter.
In his certificate of urgency documents filed in court Omtatah had further sought temporary order of prohibition barring the Chief Registrar of the Judiciary, and the Chief Justice from swearing in or in any way whatsoever appointing any Judge of the Superior Courts to swear Mutunga into office as the Nairobi City County Deputy Governor.
The court heard that the nomination, vetting and approval of Paul
Mutunga is a nullity in law because it was done without his being cleared first by the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC).
"This matter is extremely urgent since yesterday afternoon, on November,25 2021, the Nairobi County Assembly vetted and approved the nomination of Mutunga for appointment as the Deputy Governor of Nairobi
City County," Omtatah says.