City judge allows Governor Joho to keep his rifles and pistols
The High Court has granted reprieve to Mombasa Governor Hassan Ali Joho after it quashed the cancellation of his firearm certificate.
Justice George Odunga ruled on Friday that the decision to cancel the governors’ firearm certificate was unlawful and was done in an unprocedural manner.
“Although a gun is not a toy, those misusing firearms are obviously abusing their certificates hence the government should not hesitate to withdraw their licenses in accordance with the law, in this case, the decision to withdraw the applicant’s certificate is hereby quashed,” the judge said.
He then directed that the governor’s license to be reinstated and issued orders stopping the Interior Cabinet Secretary from harassing Mr Joho, any of his servants or agents.
Governor Joho, who on Wednesday graduated with a Bachelor’s Degree in Commerce from Gretsa University in Thika, had moved to court in March after the Kenya Police Central firearms bureau asked him to submit his rifles and pistols as well as their certificates to the Mombasa Central Police station OCS.
The cancellation of his firearms license came after the withdrawal of his bodyguards, just a day after Coast regional commissioner Nelson Marwa warned that those involved in the Malindi parliamentary by-election violence would have to face the law.
At the time, the governor as well as several opposition leaders laid blame on the government for intimidating him and claimed that the withdrawal of his bodyguards had been done without any formal communication.
The judge upheld Mr Joho’s argument in his verdict while criticizing the manner in which his firearm license was revoked.
His lawyers, James Orengo and Anthony Oluoch, told the court that the governor has been a holder of a licensed firearm certificate since June 18, 2008, had never been notified of any intention to revoke his firearm certificate and neither had he been informed that he had suffered any disability to impair his ability to hold it.
The court was told that the governor was merely ordered, through a press statement, to surrender his firearm certificate or face arrest.
He had therefore argued that his life was in danger and that his rights had been violated.
The governor had sued the Chief Fire Arms Licensing Officer, the Interior Cs, the Inspector General of Police and the Attorney General.