DEFAMATION CASE AGAINST SONKO FAILS TO TAKE-OFF.

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Former Nairobi Governor Mike Sonko with his lawyer Harrison Kinyanjui speaking to court reporters after he failed to testify in the case./PHOTO BY S.A.N.

BY SAM ALFAN.

Former Nairobi Governor Mike Mbuvi Sonko has failed to testify in a defamation case filed against him by city tycoon Mike Maina Kamau.

This is after a lawyer representing the city tycoon failed to appear in court.

Sonko had appeared alongside his lawyer Harrison Kinyanjui before Environment and Lands Court Judge Lucy Mbugua ready to testify.

Maina, however, asked for the adjournment of the matter after his lead counsel Ochieng’ Oduol failed to show up in court.

Sonko’s lawyer Kinyanjui asked the ELC court to dismiss the matter for none appearance but the court instead slapped the businessman with costs for seeking an adjournment in the case.

The defamation case is filled before Environment and Land Court which lacks jurisdiction to hear such matters.

Sonko warned those grabbing public land in Nairobi adding that he still has strong political muscle to fight for the interest of people of Nairobi.

Maina, the owner of Marble Arch Hotel, sued Sonko accusing him of interfering with his business over plans to repossess the 20-acre plot in Nairobi’s Kayole Estate in 2019, despite having a court order.

Through his company Muthithi Investments Ltd, the tycoon accused Sonko of releasing a recording of their phone conversation, allegedly insulting him thereby initiating social media attacks which damaged his reputation and image.

According to the city businessman, the phone call recording, which was widely circulated, and shared on Facebook, were meant to depict him as someone who is violent and corrupt.

He wanted Sonko who was then the Governor of Nairobi, declared to have acted in breach of Chapter Six of the Constitution over the conduct of State officers on the ground that he interfered with a process sanctioned by court order as it undermines the authority of the Judiciary.

The former governor has denied that he inhibited Maina’s right to access justice as alleged, and says he should prove the allegations.

Sonko noted that the statutory forum of complaint of violation of Chapter Six of the Constitution is the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission.

The former Governor maintained that the Nairobi City County Government is the original owner of the property, having been handed by the defunct Nairobi City Council.

“The Nairobi City Council never authorized or consented to the “vesting” of the suit property in the Petitioner as alleged,” said Sonko in court documents.

According to Sonko, at the material time he was the Governor of the Nairobi City County Government, he did establish that the purported “Consent” in HCC 457 of 1999 pleaded by the Petition as allegedly having been between Kamau and the Nairobi City Council was never authorized, or permissible in the circumstances.

“I deny knowledge of the allegations contained in paragraph 20 of the Petition, and I am embarrassed and prejudiced for want of particulars to rebut the broad based, blanket allegations made by Mike Maina on the alleged “Facebook” page which I have no knowledge of. I shall put him into strict proof of the stated allegations,” said former city boss.

He said he was embarrassed by the stated averments, and further states that there is no veracity in the allegation contained in the petition and in Mike Maina’s Affidavit as alleged, or at all, as there is no pleaded manner, incident, or single event by which I have deprived the Petitioner the alleged right to equal protection of the law under the unspecified provision of Article 27 of the Constitution.

Sonko said at no time have I come into contact with the petitioner, as alleged or at all, and I state that I am unable to adequately respond absent further and better particulars. Mike Maina has failed to particularize or demonstrate with any specificity the alleged acts, events, and incidents constituting the alleged breaches of the Constitution the Petitioner falsely attributes to me.

He added that contrary to the petitioner’s claims that I allegedly “stopped” the petitioner from “evicting” persons on the unspecified land the Petitioner asserts in paragraph 49 of its Petition, as 17th March 2005 when an oblique “eviction” order was sought by way of a Motion for injunction relief, Justice Philip Ransely (RTD)., dismissed the application, for which I am certainly not responsible.

Sonko the petitioner’s claim as against me is wholly unsustainable and I am persuaded that it constitutes a gross abuse of Court process, as it has no merit, and ought to be dismissed with costs.

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