Embattled Wajir Governor Mohamed Abdi Mohamud is fighting for his political life and events in the coming days could seal the fate of his troubled career.
So far, Abdi has successfully maintained an iron grip on the seat but how he handles the next hurdle will be critical.
The trial of Abdi, who was impeached on April 27, begins on Wednesday in the Senate.
Wajir MCAs will go first and lay their case before the governor takes the stand to defend himself on Thursday.
The counsel for the County Assembly will be led by lawyer Ahmednassir Abdullahi as the defense team of the governor is led by Ndegwa Njiru.
The special committee investigating the ouster will retreat on Friday to consider the submissions and then file a report, which will be tabled before the House on May 17.
It will not be the first time the governor will be fighting off attempts to remove him from office.
Efforts to oust him started soon after he was elected during the 2017 elections.
“Mwalimu”, as he was commonly known during campaigns received remarkable endorsements from leaders throughout the county’s six constituencies.
Abdi promised an all-inclusive government, improved health facilities and water systems but he is now being accused of gross misconduct, violation of the Constitution and abuse of office.
He is also accused of abusing his power by reshuffling the finance department chief officers six times within two years.
A total of 37 MCAs voted to impeach him while 10 members were against the motion. Two were absent.
The MCAs claimed the governor lacked accountability in the management of county resources by incurring unsustainable debts and other pending obligations to the tune of Sh2 billion.
Abdi’s woes started only months after he was elected to office.
The High Court in Nairobi in January 2018 nullified the governor’s election, a decision which was endorsed by the Court of Appeal in April the same year.
However, in February 2019, Abdi retained his seat after a majority of Supreme Court judges ruled he was validly elected and had the required academic credentials to vie for the seat.
Then Chief Justice David Maraga and Judge Isaac Lenaola raised serious questions on Abdi’s credentials to vie for the seat, but a majority decision by four other judges saved him.
As he battled in court, officers from the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission, in November 2018 raided his homes in Nairobi and Wajir.
The detectives also raided the home of the head of the Wajir county treasury in Lower Kabete estate within Nairobi and took away documents in a probe into suspected embezzlement of Sh350 million.
On May 1, EACC moved in to investigate corruption allegations in the county that led to Abdi’s impeachment.
EACC is said to be specifically interested in the multi-million procurement of infectious disease prevention commodities under tender number WCG/H/DT/002/2019-2020.
In a letter dated April 28, David Ikimat from the EACC’s Northeastern regional offices asked the county executive to provide documents and any other information on the tender.
As EACC moved to investigate, a petition against the governor was filed at the Senate, seeking to find Abdi unfit to hold office.
The Devolution and Intergovernmental Relations Committee chaired by Homa Bay Senator Moses Kajwang is handling a petition by Osman Idris Mohamed, a resident of Wajir.
Idris argues that Abdi should not be allowed to hold any public office.
Abdi was born on July 1, 1955, in Wajir South constituency.
He went to Rhamu Primary School before joining Mandera Secondary School from 1981 to 1984 and then proceeded to Nakuru Medical Training Centre (1985-1988)
He was employed as a Clinical Officer by the Ministry of Health between 1988 to 1997.
Abdi has been a director at Abrar Medical Clinic and Young Muslim Association.
He served as Wajir East MP between 1997 and 2007.
Between 2003- 2007, Abdi was Cabinet minister for Regional Development in the administration of retired President Mwai Kibaki.
Abdi was appointed Kenya’s ambassador to Saudi Arabia by President Uhuru Kenyatta in August 2014.
Edited by Kiilu Damaris
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