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Nasa MPs to file contempt suit over Miguna, Kajwang' detention

Sunday February 04 2018
Miguna pic

Lawyer Miguna Miguna. Nasa MPs are expected to file contempt of court charges against the government on February 5, 2018 over a 'crackdown' on the coalition, in which Mr Miguna was arrested. PHOTO | FILE | NATION MEDIA GROUP

By DAVID MWERE
By PATRICK LANG'AT

The National Super Alliance (Nasa) is on Monday expected to file contempt of court charges against the government for violating orders to release activist-cum-lawyer Miguna Miguna and to re-open three independent private television stations.

While activist Okiya Omtatah obtained a court order directing the government to re-open NTV, Citizen TV and KTN, Mr Miguna had obtained a Sh50,000 bond on Friday for his release.

Both have not happened.

Nasa leaders asked all supporters who attended opposition chief Raila Odinga’s ‘swearing-in’ on Tuesday to show up at Central Police Station, Nairobi, on Tuesday to protest the arrests of Mr Miguna and MPs Tom Kajwang’ (Ruaraka) and George Aladwa (Makadara).

OATH

The three were arrested in connection with the ceremony held at Uhuru Park — Mr Kajwang’ accused of administering it, Mr Miguna of commissioning it and Mr Aladwa of consenting to an illegal oath and being present in an illegal assembly.

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“We want to tell this government that we went to Uhuru Park on our own volition and that, if called upon again, we will not hesitate to go there,” Siaya Senator James Orengo said during a rally at Baba Dogo, Ruaraka, on Sunday.

“So, on Tuesday, we are all going to Central Police Station, and I will be the lead lawyer.”

The senior counsel said Mr Odinga was attending to “matters of state” and meeting “envoys who asked for an impromptu appointment”.

COURT

Kakamega Senator Cleophas Malala disclosed to the Nation on Sunday that a team of lawyers led by Mr Orengo and Rarieda MP Otiende Amollo among others, is working on a petition to be filed in court on Monday.

“We want the Jubilee administration to tell the court why it is not respecting court orders. It is a wrong move to arrest people arbitrarily, hold them incommunicado at undisclosed locations in this time of the new Constitution,” Mr Malala said.

On January 30, the Communications Authority of Kenya (CA) disabled the transmission signals of NTV, KTN News and Citizen TV for covering the “swearing-in” of Nasa principal Raila Odinga as the people’s president.

Mr Miguna was arrested on Friday after police broke into his Runda home.

He was shuttled around the city in various cars before finally landing at Githunguri Police Station, Kiambu.

BOND

His lawyer Mr Edwin Sifuna rushed to court on the same day and obtained orders directing that his client be released on Sh50,000 bond pending his arraignment in court on Monday.

Mr Sifuna said that despite serving Inspector General of Police Joseph Boinnet as ordered by the court and also the DCI and OCS Githunguri, where Miguna was being held on Friday and Saturday, the police “acting on political orders” are yet to comply, three days since the orders were issued.

“This is purely political. The police are implementing illegal orders from the Jubilee leadership. It is the reason we want to take specific action against them for illegally detaining my client,” Mr Sifuna said.

The week also saw Mr Kajwang' arrested and just like Mr Miguna, orders to have him released were also disobeyed by the police but he was later released and charged.

On Friday night, Mr Aladwa was also arrested from his Buru Buru home moved around the city before being taken to DCI headquarters and released on Saturday afternoon without any charge.

NASA SOLDIERS

At the Ruaraka rally, Nasa leaders Orengo, Aladwa, Kajwang’, Malala and ODM chairman John Mbadi, MPs Anthony Oluoch (Mathare), Babu Owino (Embakasi East), Tindi Mwale (Butere), James Nyikal (Seme) and Dagoretti North’s Simba Arati, among others, condemned the arrests of the leaders, and called on their supporters to join the planned march to the police station.

“You cannot treat a Chief Justice from another sovereignty like that and take him to be locked up in another sovereignty,” Mr Kajwang’, who continually referred to himself as “Chief Justice” following his administration of ‘oath of office’ on Mr Odinga, said.

“We have two governments: One is led by Raila and the other is Mount Kenya’s Uhuru Kenyatta. We are hungry, angry and annoyed.”

RAILA ARREST
Said Mr Orengo: “We are waiting to know the way forward before this Tuesday. If Raila says quick-match, it’s quick-match. If he says left, it is left. If he says right, it is right. If there is a time to bring change to Kenya, it is now, not tomorrow.”

On claims that Mr Odinga had skipped the rally for fear of arrest, Mr Orengo said: “Raila is safe and sound. No one can dare arrest him.”

Said Mr Mbadi: “We want to tell Uhuru Kenyatta that his government ended on Tuesday when Raila was sworn in. The President is Raila.”

Mr Arati, who last week had his firearm licence revoked, said:

“I am ready to die. I will not return that gun. I have the right to hold it.”

HELD

Earlier, Mr Sifuna noted that while at Githunguri Police Station, “we had to escape for our lives as area politicians led locals to light bonfires outside the police station and the police never did anything to them.”

According to the law, a suspected offender is required to be held at a police station close to the area where the crime was allegedly committed.

However, it is not clear why Mr Miguna was not held in Central Police station, which covers Uhuru Park, the scene where the police claim that the crime happened. 

The Constitution provides that no person shall be held in detention for more than 24 hours without being produced in court.

Mr Miguna is yet to be charged in court for what he is claimed to have committed.

WARRANT

With the police getting the notoriety of not obeying court orders, it is not clear whether Mr Miguna will be arraigned in court on Monday as ordered by the same court on Friday.

City lawyer Mr Nelson Havi said he would take action against Nairobi Chief Magistrate Kenneth Cheruiyot over the search warrants he issued to the police to break into Mr Miguna’s house.

“He has crossed the red line and will soon join Joseph Mutava. We cannot have criminals in the Judiciary,” Mr Havi said.

The order by Mr Cheruiyot read: “I authorise you, by this search warrant to enter the house of Joshua Miguna Miguna with such assistance as shall be required and to use, if necessary, reasonable force.”

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