Igembe South MP and Meru senatorial candidate Mithika Linturi has lost his bid to stop the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission (EACC) from summoning him over the credibility of a self-declaration form he issued to the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission.
Justice Said Juma Chitembwe of Meru High Court, in his Friday ruling, said the investigation being undertaken by the EACC is part of administrative action and the court cannot interfere.
Judge Chitembwe also said that Mr Linturi will still be given an opportunity to be heard before a final decision is made.
The two-term lawmaker went to court to have EACC stopped from investigating him for allegedly falsely declaring on a self declaration form in the 2013 elections that he had a Bachelor of Commerce Insurance option.
“There will be no irreparable damage to be suffered by the petitioner if he is to appear before the commission .
“We are all governed by the Constitution. Granting orders being sought by the petitioner is tantamount to barring EACC from carrying [out] its duty,” Judge Chitembwe said.
The judge said no individual is above the law and the Igembe South MP should not find it difficult to appear before the anti-graft agency for questioning.
“The application lacks merit and is dismissed with no costs,” he said in his 28-page ruling.
But shortly after the verdict, the Mr Linturi, through lawyer Mugambi Kiogora, applied for a stay order pending application for amendments of the petition; he was given three days.
In a letter by EACC deputy executive officer Michael Mubea dated June 15, Mr Linturi has been summoned to the agency’s headquarters at Integrity Centre in Nairobi to respond to the allegation and record a statement.
“The commission is investigating allegations touching on your conduct as a state officer in relation to the information provided to the IEBC in your self-declaration form in the year 2013,” part of the letter read.
The letter states that failure by the MP to appear before the commission will attract a fine of Sh300,000 or imprisonment of not less than three years or both.
Mr Linturi has enjoined the IEBC, Meru returning officer and EACC as first, second and third respondents, respectively.
Lawyer Kiogora urged the court to hear the matter urgently, arguing his client is a duly nominated Jubilee candidate for the county position by virtue of a nomination certificate issued by the returning officer on May 28.
He said Mr Linturi has never been notified by the two agencies of any investigations against him, and that he has never been charged in court for any wrongdoing.
In his affidavit, Mr Linturi said that he has learnt through media outlets that the anti-corruption outfit intimates to have carried out investigations, which revealed that he had falsified the self-declaration form.
“Out of the third respondent’s biased report malicious people have now approached the IEBC through a complaint filed with its nomination dispute resolution committee, whereby the complainant prays that it be determined that I was not duly nominated and that my nomination was void,” he said.