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Ann Kananu set to be sworn in as Nairobi governor

Acting Nairobi Governor Ann Kananu is set to be sworn in as the third governor of Nairobi, ending a long wait spanning close to 10 months.

This is after the Supreme Court struck out an appeal by ex-Nairobi Governor Mike Sonko challenging her swearing-in.

The appeal by Mr Sonko followed a ruling last month by the Court of Appeal that paved the way for the swearing-in of Ms Kananu as Nairobi’s first female governor.

The apex court ruled that the Notice of Motion by Mr Sonko, dated October 23, 2021, was premature as there is no substantive determination of a constitutional question by the Court of Appeal to warrant the invocation of the court’s jurisdiction with the main appeal still before the appellate court and is set for arguments on November 22, 2021.

This, therefore, the court ruled, renders the notice of motion application premature and does not meet the threshold of Article 163(4) of the Constitution and the court lacks jurisdiction to entertain the application.

“The Court, we conclude, for that specific reason, lacks the jurisdiction to entertain the application. The objections by the first and third respondents in respect of the Notice of Motion are sustained. The Notice of Motion dated October 23, 2021 is, for the reasons given, incompetent and is hereby struck out,” reads in part the ruling by the Supreme Court.

“We award the costs to first, third, seventh, and eleventh respondents, the only parties who have participated in this application,” it added.

Mr Sonko had filed an affidavit on October 22, 2021, the day of the ruling by the Court of Appeal, seeking for a temporary order of injunction pending the hearing and determination of an appeal against the ruling and order by the Court of Appeal on October 22, 2021 paving the way for swearing in of Ms Kananu.

Nairobi County Assembly Clerk was listed as the first respondent, the county assembly as third respondent, the Attorney General as seventh respondent and Ms Kananu as eleventh respondent.

The former Makadara MP wanted the Assumption of the Office of the County Governor Committee (the ninth respondent) temporarily injuncted from swearing in Ms Kananu as well as the former Disaster Management and Coordination chief officer prohibited from occupying the office of the governor, pending the hearing and final determination of the applicant’s intended appeal.

However, the county assembly challenged Mr Sonko’s application on November 4, 2021, saying the petition and the instant application are incompetent and ought to be struck out for the reason that they do not raise any question of constitutional interpretation or application as the main dispute is yet to be determined by the court of appeal.

They also argued that the Supreme Court lacks jurisdiction to entertain or issue orders in relation to the Court of Appeal’s ruling.

For his part, the Attorney General on November 11, 2021, also argued that Mr Sonko had not demonstrated how the intended appeal will be rendered nugatory if an injunction is not granted and that should his appeal succeed then Ms Kananu’s appointment as governor will be revoked and the former City Hall chief reinstated as governor.

The Court of Appeal had also declined to grant similar orders arguing there was no nexus between the orders sought and the petition before the High Court as the issue of swearing in of Ms Kananu was neither before the High Court nor was it considered and determined by the court in its judgment.

The appellate court requested the parties to appear before its Deputy Registrar on November 15, 2021 for directions on the hearing of the main appeal and the notice of preliminary objection.