The High Court in Nairobi has rejected a lawsuit seeking a referendum for the Luo community to secede from Kenya and establish their own independent country due to alleged discrimination by the Kenyan government.
The case was filed by Ojijo Mark Pascal on behalf of over 10,000 Luos, but the court ruled that the case was incorrectly filed and lacked compliance with constitutional petition procedures.
Justice Lawrence Mugambi of Milimani High Court stated that the petitioner, Ojijo, had not followed the proper legal procedures for filing constitutional petitions as outlined in the Constitution.
“I have read the notice of motion together with the certificate of urgency and note this suit is commenced by way of a Plaint rather than a constitutional Petition and is therefore struck out forthwith,” Mugambi ruled.
Therefore, the case was dismissed, and Ojijo was advised to adhere to the correct legal processes when filing cases in court.
Ojijo, who identified himself as a Luo presidential candidate, argued in the suit that secession is not a crime in Kenya and that the Luo community should be allowed to pursue their own independent state.
He sought a court order for the Attorney General to organize a referendum that would enable the Luo community to leave Kenya and form their own state.
“That the court orders the respondent (the Attorney General) to cause a referendum to be held for Luos to leave the state of Kenya and become their own state,” one of the orders read in part.
Among the grounds for the proposed referendum were allegations of discrimination, profiling, harassment, torture, and oppression of the Luo community by the Kenyan government.
Ojijo claimed that the government had used excessive force against Luo demonstrators and portrayed them negatively in the media.
He further contended that successive government regimes, through allegedly rigged elections, had hindered the economic growth and leadership opportunities of the Luo community.
Ojijo argued that self-determination was a constitutional right and that the Luo community should have the freedom to determine their own political, territorial, and economic destiny.
“The right to self-determination consists of Luo rights to freely pursue their economic, social and economic development, ideally through democratic governance,” he stated.
The case also sought orders to prevent the state from interfering with the Luo community’s efforts to engage in self-determination activities.