Connect with us

News

11 Lawyers Banned From Appearing In Supreme Court Alongside Ahmednasir Sues

Published

on

Senior Counsel Ahmednasir Abdullahi.

Eleven lawyers associates of Ahmednasir Abdullahi LLP a firm owned by Senior Counsel Ahmednasir Abdullahi are now challenging orders barring them from making submissions before the Supreme Court.

The Judges said they banned Ahmednassir over his continuous attacks on them which they described as demeaning. The lawyer has sustained attacks of the apex court judges, describing them as corrupt.

“In view of the foregoing, it is the decision of this court, that henceforth and from the date of this communication, you shall have no audience before the court, either by yourself, through an employee of your law firm, or any other person holding brief for you,” said the CJ in a statement signed by the Registrar of Supreme Court Letizia Muthoni Wachira.

And now Ahmednasir Abdullahi LLP alongside its 11 associates have individually sued the seven Supreme Court judges over the decision to ban the lawyer, his law firm and associates from appearing before the apex court in a  reaction to his criticism.

Advertisement

The associates who are before the court are Asli Mohamud, Peter Muchoki, Irene Koech, Esther Wanga, Cohen Ananya, Khadijah Said Ali, Elizabeth Wangui, Benard Onyikwa, Tonny Towett and Mohamed Abdi.

Ahmednasir and the associates represented by lawyer Issa Mansur, contends that the decision communicated to his law firm on January 18, 2024, by Supreme Court Registrar Letizia Wachira is both unlawful and unconstitutional.

In the petition filed Monday, they assert that the letter received from the Supreme Court cites personal grievances held by the seven judges; CJ Koome, Deputy Chief Justice Philomena Mwilu, Justices Mohammed Ibrahim, Smokin Wanjala, Njoki Ndung’u, Isaac Lenaola and William Ouko  against Ahmednasir, accusing him of conducting a campaign in the broadcast, print, and social media aimed at scandalizing, ridiculing, and denigrating the Court.

Related Content:  Uhuru Orders Kenya Meat Commission To Be Run By The Military

He argues that the decision made by the seven judges does not stem from a judicial process exercising the Court’s constitutional and statutory jurisdiction as outlined in Article 163 of the Constitution or the Supreme Court Act. Rather, it represents an administrative decision without a legal foundation, lacking the juridical value of a judicial decision immune to challenge under the law, thus rendering it illegitimate.

The law firm argues that all of these utterances reflect the personal opinions of lawyer Ahmednasir and are in accord with the freedom of expression rights protected under our Constitution.

Advertisement

It is their argument they are not liable for the utterances of the veteran lawyer more so expressed in his private capacity.

They claimed that some of the social media postings, media interviews and write-ups complied by the seven judges, and which allegedly damaged the reputation of the Supreme Court, were published as long ago as 2016.

“None of the publications and utterances of Ahmednasir cited by the seven judges can be deemed to constitute of contempt of court by the petitioners to warrant the action taken by the judges to banish them from practicing before the Supreme Court,” argues the Muhrab building based law firm.

Further, the publications in question do not constitute any serious and imminent threat to the administration of justice by the seven judges and Supreme Court judges are seasoned judicial officers who should be able to withstand robust criticism.

Mansur emphasizes that the practical consequence of the Supreme Court’s decision is to ban Ahmednasir and his associates from appearing before the Court to represent their clients. This decision was communicated to them through a letter signed by Registrar L.M. Wachira two weeks ago.

Advertisement
Related Content:  Lawyer Ahmednasir Suffers First Blow In Supreme Court

The letter explicitly stated that Ahmednasir and his law firm should no longer have an audience before the Supreme Court, whether in person, through an employee of the firm, or any other individual acting on their behalf.

In their application, the firm, argues that the decision made by the seven judges is administrative rather than judicial in nature. They contend that if the statements complained of made by Ahmednasir are defamatory, the Supreme Court had the option to initiate legal proceedings against him rather than resorting to a banishment from practicing before the Court.

According to Mansur, the ban does not enjoy immunity from being challenged before the lower courts as it lacks legitimacy.

“The ban which is for an unspecified period of time is a draconian step against the petitioners and all advocates presently and in future, working for the first petitioner firm from representing any client at the Supreme Court,” he said.

The law firm and associates want the court to find that Supreme Court judges and Muthoni are not above the law.

Advertisement

Mansur wants the High Court to find that the ban was an administrative decision and it cannot be used to banish Ahmednasir’s law firm, partners and associates from appearing before that court.

They are also seeking orders to quash the ban and costs.

A similar case was filed by the Law Society of Kenya (LSK), which argued that the top court had usurped its powers to deal and discipline advocates adding that the ban was unfair as it also included persons and litigants who were not a part of the issue.

Related Content:  Judiciary to recruit 50 magistrates from September, CJ announces

In response, Supreme Court judges want the case filed by LSK challenging the decision barring Senior Counsel Ahmednasir Abdullahi from appearing before them dismissed, arguing that the High Court has no power to deal with the matter.

Through Senior Counsel Kamau Karori and James Ochieng’ Oduol, the Supreme Court judges led by Chief Justice Martha Koome said they will be asking the court to strike out the petition.

Advertisement

“Jurisdiction is everything. Without jurisdiction, the petition cannot stand and the issues raised in it cannot be addressed,” Mr Oduol submitted.

Meanwhile, the decision by the Supreme Court still stands and neither Ahmednasir nor his law firm is allowed to appear before the court.

On January 18, 2024, the Supreme Court made good its stand not to accord Ahmednasir audience as he prepared to represent his client in a Sh2 billion land case.

The case was to be heard virtually when Supreme Court judges led by Koome said they will not proceed with the case if the lawyer and or any of his agents were part of the defence.

The court then adjourned and six judges recused themselves.

Advertisement


Kenya Insights allows guest blogging, if you want to be published on Kenya’s most authoritative and accurate blog, have an expose, news TIPS, story angles, human interest stories, drop us an email on [email protected] or via Telegram
Advertisement
Advertisement

Facebook

Most Popular