What you need to know:
- Mr Abdi had unsuccessfully turned to the courts to try to stop the impeachment.
- Speaker Yakub told Nation MCAs had dutifully executed their role of oversighting the county executive.
Wajir Governor Mohamed Abdi is literally undergoing a political baptism by fire. His fate is now in the hands of senators after ward reps ousted him on Tuesday.
The law stipulates that the Senate must, within 10 days of receiving the assembly’s resolution from its Speaker, convene and set up a special committee or sit in plenary to determine whether or not the claims in the impeachment are substantiated.
Wajir Speaker Ibrahim Yakub yesterday said his office is in the process of formally communicating the impeachment of the governor to Senate Speaker Ken Lusaka.
Should the Senate uphold the impeachment of Mr Abdi, who is a former ambassador to Saudi Arabia, his deputy governor Ahmed Ali Muktar will take over the remainder of the term.
Mr Abdi had unsuccessfully turned to the courts to try to stop the impeachment.
Should the ouster bid sail through the Senate hurdle, Mr Abdi will join Mr Ferdinard Waititu (Kiambu) and Mr Mike Sonko (Nairobi) in the list of impeached governors. Kirinyaga’s Anne Waiguru survived impeachment last year.
Speaker Yakub told Nation MCAs had dutifully executed their role of oversighting the county executive.
“We concluded the process at the county assembly successfully and now the matter is headed to the Senate where the governor will have to defend himself. We acted within the law and all grounds were well explained. We disposed of the motion within the required time frame,” he said. On the drama between the assembly and the governor’s lawyers, Mr Yakub said the court orders were served late.
Blamed external forces
Two lawyers, Mr Ndegwa Njiru and Mr Ndegwa Mwangi together with another resident, spent the better part of Tuesday looking for the Speaker and the assembly clerk without success.
The duo were allowed into the chambers while the MCAs had started the impeachment motion and Mr Njiru was forced to place the court orders on the floor as he walked out.
Governor Abdi could not be reached immediately but, on Tuesday while addressing the press at his residence in Wajir town, he blamed his woes on “external forces” who were driving the agenda to have him kicked out of office.
With the odds stacked against him and staring at an ignominious exit from the county’s topmost seat, Mr Abdi has accused the MCAs of failing tao give dialogue a chance.
But the MCAs said the impeachment was necessary to restore normal operations at the county government.
Mr Abdi defeated his closest rivals, Mr Ahmed Abdullahi and Ahmed Muhumed (Party of Development and Reforms) in the 2017 polls in what was seen as the most competitive contest in the county’s history.
However, Governor Abdi’s soon faced another hurdle as Mr Abdullahi and his counterpart challenged his victory at the High Court, alleging “massive” malpractices.
He was reinstated by the Supreme Court in February 2019.
Claims of corruption
In a vote of 37 against 10, the ward reps ousted Governor Abdi on claims of corruption, gross misconduct and abuse of office despite three court orders suspending his impeachment.
Yesterday, the High Court in Meru stopped the Senate from debating the impeachment motion until Monday when a suit filed by five residents will be heard.
Justice Edward Muriithi ordered Senate Speaker Ken Lusaka not to commence the formal process to gazette the embattled county boss as impeached.
This comes after petition was filed under a certificate of urgency on Monday by Mr Aden Ibrahim Mohammed, Omar Jele Abdi, Bishar Ahmed Hussein, Safiya Mahamed Abdi and Yussuf Ibrahim Dimbil.
They said they anticipated that the county assembly would forward last Tuesday’s resolutions to the Senate and urged the house not to debate it.
The judge also allowed lawyers Ndegwa Njiru and Mugambi Kiogora to amend their earlier suit to have Mr Lusaka and the Senate enjoined in the case as motion proceedings had been forwarded to the Senate.
The lawyers argue that the Senate would be making a mistake by presiding over an impeachment motion that was suspended by the court.
Justice Muriithi fixed the date for inter partes hearing for Monday, during which the county assembly, its clerk Shalle Sheikh, Speaker Ibrahim Ahmed and Tulatula MCA Abdullahi Issack are supposed to file their responses.