MIGUNA'S WOES

Judge gives AG a week to explain state's disregard of court orders

Justice Mativo says continued disobedience of court orders renders several articles of the law useless.

In Summary

• High Court Judge John Mativo said the AG can take the explanation himself or send a representative with it by Tuesday next week.

• Mativo made the ruling in a case where Canada-exiled Kenyan lawyer Miguna Miguna has sued the state for failing to facilitate his return as ordered by the courts. 

Lawyer Miguna Miguna.
Lawyer Miguna Miguna.
Image: COURTESY

Attorney General Kihara Kariuki has seven days to explain in writing the state's repeated disobedience of court orders.  

High Court Judge John Mativo said the AG can take the explanation himself or send a representative with it by Tuesday next week.

Mativo made the ruling in a case where Canada-exiled Kenyan lawyer Miguna Miguna has sued the state for failing to facilitate his return as ordered by the courts. 

The judge said it was the view of the court that the continued disobedience of court orders renders several articles of the law useless.

The court issued the directive yesterday after both parties could not agree on whether the AG should present himself in court personally or send a representative.

Miguna Miguna’s lawyer John Khaminwa said a representative sent to court by the AG was too junior to canvass such serious issues as disobedience of court orders.

Khaminwa maintained that there is a crisis in the country with the current trends by the state of not honouring court orders.

 

The lawyer wanted to know who was issuing "orders from above" to the state that the court orders should not be obeyed.

He argued that so far in the Miguna case over four judges had issued different orders and none of them had been complied with.

“What’s the use of coming to court when court orders are being disobeyed? It's better I use my energy for something else,” Khaminwa said.

State counsel Emmanuel Bitta told the court that Kihara has the right to send a representative in court on his behalf.

He asked Khaminwa to file an application on the issues he was raising saying they will not respond to his allegation from the bar.

Miguna was blocked from checking into two airlines last week Tuesday when he sought to return to Nairobi from a two-year exile in Canada.

The government resorted to its earlier stance that the controversial lawyer applies for a new passport.

High Court judge Weldon Korir had ordered that the state facilitate Miguna's return unconditionally.

But spokesman Cyrus Oguna said allowing Miguna into the country without valid documents amounted to a breach of international aviation regulations.

According to Oguna, Miguna was categorised as an unruly passenger in line with International Civil Aviation Organization standards.