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Why Ndirangu could lose Embakasi seat

Former Nairobi mayor John Ndirangu Kariuki risks losing his Embakasi Central MP seat after an abuse of office conviction returned to haunt him.

The Commission on Administrative Justice, commonly known as the ombudsman wants him declared unfit to hold public office after he was found guilty on two counts.

It told High Court Judge Mumbi Ngugi that the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) unlawfully cleared Mr Ndirangu to run for the post during the March 4, 2013 general elections.

This was  in spite of  the complaints it had filed with the electoral body, its lawyer said.

Mr Ndirangu was fined Sh100,000 by the anti-corruption court in Nairobi. He did not challenge the findings before the Court of Appeal.

Chapter Six

The ombudsman argued that the Constitution was explicit that a person was disqualified from being elected as MP if he was found to have misused or abused a State office or public office or in any way to have contravened chapter six of the Constitution which relates to integrity of a public office holder.

“Mr Ndirangu ought to vacate office of MP in accordance with the provisions of the Constitution,” the ombudsman said through a lawyer.

Mr Ndirangu asked the court to dismiss the suit. He argued that the period within which the election of an MP can be challenged had already lapsed.

The law provided that the suit ought to have been filed within 28 days after the IEBC  declared the results, he said.

His lawyer also said the commission had the option to pursue the procedure on settlement of disputes relating to nominations, but failed to do so.

“This suit, disguised as a petition for interpretation of the Constitution challenges the election of Mr Ndirangu to Parliament after the commission failed to take any of the options available,” said Mr Ndirangu.

Defective in law

Last year the MP survived an election petition filed by Kituo Cha Sheria questioning his integrity. The court dismissed the case saying it was defective in law.

Justice Ngugi will on April 30 deliver a ruling allowing or declining the application by the Commission on Administrative Justice.