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Court suspends AfriCOG closure

The High Court has temporarily suspended the move by the NGO Coordination Board Executive Director Fazul Mahamed to deregister the Africa Centre for Open Governance (AfriCOG).

Justice Enoch Chacha Mwita granted the temporary reprieve to the organisation, which was deregistered on Tuesday.

Together with other seven human rights activists, AfriCOG sued acting Interior Cabinet Secretary Fred Matiang’i, the Attorney General, the NGO Coordination Board and Mr Mahamed.

CBK GOVERNOR

The directors of criminal investigations as well as public prosecution and the Central Bank of Kenya Governor have also been sued in the case in which the Law Society of Kenya is listed as an interested party.

The seven include former governance and ethics Permanent Secretary in the Office of the President Mr John Githongo, United Nations Special rapporteur Maina Kiai, Africa leadership Centre founder Dr Funmi Olonisakin and AfriCOG’s board member Stella Chege.

Others are the Chief Executive Officer of the Pan African Lawyers Union, (PALU) based in Arusha, Tanzania Mr Donald Deya, the coordinator for the Kenya Civil Society Platform on Oil and Gas (KCSPOG) Mr Charles Wanguhi and AfriCOG’s executive director Gladwell Otieno.

URGENT

“Unless this matter is heard and determined as one that is urgent and a stay of the illegal decision is granted, AfriCOG’s operations are at a grave risk of being raided with all its equipment’s being unlawfully confiscated,” said Mr Samwel Muhochi.

They wanted the directive to close down AfriCOG be quashed, that the seven be barred from being arrested and prosecuted for any criminal activities or violation of the NGO Coordination Act.

They also wanted the court to issue orders stopping any attempts aimed at freezing bank accounts of the said lobby.

On Tuesday, the NGO Co-ordination Board wrote to the DCI urging it to immediately shut down AfriCOG, arrest its directors and advised the CBK to freeze all its bank accounts over allegations that it is operating illegally.

Officers denied entry to NGO’s offices in Lavington.

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