Police ordered to stop harassing Joho over academic papers

The State has been stopped from arresting and prosecuting Mombasa Governor Hassan Joho over his academic credentials.

The High Court further stopped police, the Director of Public Prosecutions and the Attorney General from continued harassment of the ODM deputy party leader concerning the papers.

According to the High Court, the State violated Mr Joho’s rights by starting fresh investigations into his academic credentials.

Justice Eric Ogola on Thursday ruled that the investigations were ill timed, politically instigated and that the intended prosecution against the governor was not consistent with constitutional values.

MISCHIEVOUS

He wondered why a complaint against Mr Joho over an alleged forged examination result slip was made this year yet there was a similar complaint on fraudulent acquisition of a degree certificate made in 2013.

“Why did the complainant make the complaint in 2013…this to court seems mischievous,” said Justice Ogola adding that threats to arrest Mr Joho are political.

The judge noted that the petitioner is a governor and investigations against him had been conducted over four years ago and he has not been charged.

He said there was an ulterior motive behind the intended prosecution of Mr Joho, to make him not to contest the gubernatorial election.

POLITICAL

“The material placed before the court shows a process well-articulated to harass and intimidate the petitioner,” said the judge who allowed the petition by Mr Joho against the State.

He said restriction of movement and removal of his security by the State showed that there was an element of discrimination and the petitioner was being punished for his political views.

Justice Ogola said the court does not agree that utterances by President Uhuru Kenyatta against the governor resulted in the issues faced by the petitioners.

He noted that the (utterances) may have had an impact on other State actors leading to the fresh investigations.

“The respondents misinterpreted the President utterances,” he said.

SUED

In his petition, Mr Joho had sued the Inspector General of Police, Director of Criminal Investigations, Director of Public Prosecution (DPP) and the Attorney General.

An application by Senior Assistant DPP Alexander Muteti and litigation counsel from the AG chambers Emmanuel Makuto seeking to have the execution of the judgment suspended was declined by the court.

Justice Ogola directed them to file a formal application for stay within the next 14 days.

Mr Joho, who was represented by lawyers Senior Counsel James Orengo, Mr Dennis Mosota and Ms Julie Soweto said the investigations against him were being conducted to ensure he did not participate in the August polls.

The State wanted the petition by Mr Joho dismissed saying police were still at the stage of investigations and were yet to submit a report hence only then will the DPP decide if there was any offence.

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