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March 22, 2018

Petitioners to be paid Sh51m for detention

Justice George Odunga at Milimani law court on August1,2015../FILE
Justice George Odunga at Milimani law court on August1,2015../FILE

The High Court has compelled the Interior ministry to pay 11 petitioners Sh51 million for unlawful detention.

Delivering judgement, Justice George Odunga said the petitioners deserve compensation for forcible removal and transfer from Kenya to Ethiopia.

Salim Awadh and 10 others had moved to court seeking orders compelling the ministry and the National Treasury to pay them Sh51 million together with accrued interest arising from the judgment that was delivered on July 21, 2013.

“I hereby issue an order compelling the Principal Secretary, Ministry of Interior, to pay the applicants the judgement debt of Sh51,261,031 together with all accrued interest at 12 per cent per annul arising from a judgement by this court on July 21, 2013,” Odunga said.

According to the petition, the first to the eighth applicants are Kenyan citizens, while the ninth to 11th applicants are foreigners, Tanzanian (ninth and 11th applicants) and Rwandese ( 10th).

The petitioners had complained they were victims of arbitrary arrest, unlawful and unconstitutional incommunicado detention without trial in Kenya, torture, cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment and punishment in Kenya and subsequent illegal, unlawful, extrajudicial and unconstitutional forcible removal and transfer from Kenya to Ethiopia.

They underwent inhumane and degrading treatment and punishment in Somalia and Ethiopia between January 2007 and October 2008, they said.

“Arising from the aforesaid actions, we sued the Commissioner of Police, the Attorney General and two private airline companies for the violation of our rights,” they said.

Following a full contested hearing, they were awarded compensation in damages of Sh34,500,000 together with interest at court rates from the date of judgment and costs of the petition.

As a result, on October 24, 2014, the court issued a duly certified decree of the judgment in the said petition.

It was further averred that on December 18, 2014, after a full hearing of the bill of costs and party costs in the petition were taxed at Sh949,632 in favour of the applicants. A certificate of taxation was issued and on March 24, 2014, the court issued a certificate of order.

It was asserted the continued violation of the constitutional values of management of public finance, the rule of law, equality before the law and human dignity is a grave and present danger to the constitutional order of Kenya.

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