Sonko seeks out of court deal in Kibicho slur suit

Friday, April 30th, 2021 00:00 |
Former Nairobi Governor Mike Sonko.

Bernice Mbugua @BerniceMuhindi

Former Nairobi Governor Mike Sonko is seeking an out-of-court settlement in a defamation suit filed against him by Interior Principal Secretary Karanja Kibicho.

Kibicho had sued Sonko for linking him to violence that rocked the country in the run-up to the 2017 General Election and alleged grabbing of public land.

When the matter came up yesterday at the High Court, Senior Counsel Fred Ngatia, who represents Kibicho, told the court he had received the proposal from Sonko’s lawyer Evans Ondieki for a possible settlement.

“We ask that we come back on June 8 for a possible settlement,’ Ngatia told the court.

However, lawyer John Khaminwa told the court that June 8 was too near and requested for another date.

Justice Msagha Mbogoli directed the matter to be mentioned on June 28.

“By consent further mention on June 29 to record possible settlement… interim orders extended,” ruled the judge.

Public rally

Kibicho had claimed that on February 24, Sonko, while addressing a public rally in Dagoretti South, falsely, maliciously, recklessly and with intent to malign him, claimed he has associations with individuals involved in land grabbing.

“He also said and I was involved in criminal activities during the election period in 2017...which is false and actuated with malice,” Kibicho said in court documents.

The Interior PS argued that he is an upright and law abiding citizen and has no association with any individuals involved in land grabbing.

“I do not engage in criminal activities and was not involved in the activities alleged by the Defendant.

He did not take the elementary process of ascertaining whether the contention and/or accusations made concerning me are factually correct,” he argued.

He contended that by reason of the said utterances and publication by Sonko, he was ridiculed and his reputation, character and credibility severely damaged.

“Further, I have suffered damage to my moral and professional standing in the eyes of the general public,” Kibicho says in court documents.

According to Kibicho, Sonko’s sole purpose was to tarnish his reputation and to also divert public attention from the unfolding situation, which had encompassed him as the former Governor of the Nairobi City County.

“By the repetition of falsehoods and malicious allegations, the Defendant has now diverted public attention from the former governor to myself,” he said.

The Interior PS contends that despite demonstrating that the words he uttered concerning him were false, he continued to utter and publish the defamatory material causing damage to his reputation and character.

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