People Daily Team @PeopleDailyKe
The courts were yesterday the platform of High Noon drama pitting the State against Opposition elements arising from last week’s mock swearing-in of Raila Odinga as the “people’s president”.
The highlight was the arraignment of the self-declared National Resistance Movement (NRM) general Miguna Miguna before a Kajiado court while he was being awaited at a Nairobi court.
After a weekend of hide-and-seek between police and Opposition leaders to have him released, Miguna still spent the night in police cells. Last evening High Court judge Luka Kimaru directed that Miguna should not be charged with a criminal offence in any court in the country until he is produced by police before him at the Milimani Law Courts today 11am.
Justice Kimaru ordered Director of Criminal Investigations George Kinoti and the head of the Flying Squad unit Said Kiprotich to personally bring Miguna to his court. After appearing before Kajiado Resident Magistrate Edwin Mulochi in the morning, Miguna declined to take a plea and word went round he would be presented before Justice Kimaru in the afternoon.
A battery of journalists and lawyers who had waited at Milimani all afternoon started dispersing after Kimaru gave his directive after it became apparent Miguna would not appear. Earlier in the morning, as Miguna was arraigned in a Kajiado court, his lawyers led by John Khaminwa were at Milimani, battling to have him produced before Kimaru who had directed that he be produced yesterday morning.
In Kajiado, the often brash activist appeared calm, wearing a crumpled dark blue suit and white shirt, without a tie. He had been in custody since his arrest last Friday and was understood to have been held at Lari police station, Kiambu.
Miguna refused to take a plea before Mulochi, who ruled that he be charged at Milimani where his case was pending. He, however, added that the same matter be mentioned on February 14 at the Kajiado court.
Miguna is facing three counts relating to the swearing-in of Raila. Earlier in Nairobi, Justice Kimaru declined to issue orders against Inspector General of Police Joseph Boinnet and the newly appointed DCI Kinoti whom he had earlier directed to produce Miguna.
Kimaru, however, said Miguna could go ahead and sue police over illegal detention if he so wishes. Assistant Director of Public Prosecutions Nicholas Mutuku had earlier asked the court to dismiss the petition since Miguna had been arraigned in Kajiado.
But Miguna lawyers objected to the request, saying the charge sheet looked suspicious as it did not bear a signature from the DPP. Opposition leaders led by Raila and Siaya Senator James Orengo were in the court.
Meanwhile, the government yesterday intensified the crackdown on Opposition leaders after it suspended several passports belonging to activists and politicians. Among the affected individuals, who now cannot travel out of the country, include Nasa strategist David Ndii, Orengo, Embakasi East MP Babu Owino, Ruaraka MP TJ Kajwang’ and businessman Jimmy Wanjigi.
Elsewhere, the High Court suspended the directive by Boinnet purporting to withdraw police security for 141 Nasa MPs (See story below). The orders were given as Kisumu Governor Anyang’ Nyong’o and his deputy Mathews Owili sued the State for alleged withdrawal of their security detail.
Their lawyer Victor Obondi told a Kisumu judge David Majanja that the action violated the petitioners’ constitutional rights and that they were being discriminated against since other county bosses and their aides were currently enjoying the right by virtue of their leadership positions.
The case will be heard today. Separately, activist Okiya Omtatah was directed to serve Interior Cabinet Secretary Fred Matiang’i, ICT’s Joe Mucheru and the Communication Authority of Kenya directors a contempt of court application in person.
Justice Chacha Mwita gave the order after Omtatah told the court that the respondents had not fully complied with orders directing them to re-open three TV stations that had been shut down.
And in Nairobi, Boinnet clarified that twelve Opposition leaders who had obtained an anticipatory bail over fears that they could be arrested are not of interest to police as of now.
Through the National Police Service official Twitter handle managed from Jogoo House, Boinnet was, however, not committal on whether the politicians will later be of key interest in the ongoing crackdown over the illegal assembly that saw Raila took a mock oath at Uhuru Park, Nairobi, on January 30.