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Miguna entry saga persists despite order to release him

Controversial deportee Miguna Miguna remained in a stateless space inside Jomo Kenyatta International Airport after he declined to fill out forms to reapply for Kenyan citizenship.

Denied entry into Kenya and after dramatically refusing to board a plane back to Dubai which had been his last port of call before arriving in Nairobi, Miguna was stranded at the corridors of the airport, between the immigration barrier and the boarding gates, which internationally is considered ‘no man’s land.

Worldwide, many illegal aliens without proper travel papers are confined to such space until their status are determined. But Miguna’s saving grace could be a court order issued by the High Court last evening to allow him entry and to produce him in court this morning.

The Department of Immigration had early in the morning dispatched officials to JKIA with forms for Miguna to fill out for processing of his citizenship. But Miguna’s lawyer Cliff Ombeta and other lawyers insisted the activist would not file for citizenship, arguing it would amount to their client agreeing with the government when it revoked his citizenship.

“He should be allowed to enter Kenya on the strength of the court order,” lawyer Ombeta told journalists at JKIA, in reference to an order by High Court judge Luka Kimaru who ruled Miguna be allowed entry back to Kenya. Last evening, the government was ordered by the High Court to unconditionally release Miguna.

However, the Interior ministry in a tweet said it was served the order out of time and could, therefore, not release him. High Court judge Roselyn Aburili made the orders after Miguna’s lawyers led by Dr John Khaminwa and Nelson Havi moved to court asking for his release, saying he was being held incommunicado at the airport. Justice Aburili further ordered Miguna be produced in court today at 9am.

“I certify the application urgent and order that the petitioner, Miguna Miguna, who is currently being held in incommunicado at JKIA, be forthwith released to appear before this court on March 28,2018 at 9am,” ruled Aburili.

She directed that the petitioners serve the respondents for an inter-parties mention for further directions. Miguna, in his application, had wanted the court to grant him unrestricted right to enter the country and remain in the country on the basis of his Kenyan passport and his Kenyan national identity card .

Those named as respondents in the case include Interior CS Fred Matiang’i, Police chief Joseph Boinnet, head of Immigration and Director of Criminal Investigations George Kinoti.

Last night, the People Daily learnt that the Kenyan government had requested the Canadian High Commission to offer Miguna citizen consular services as their citizen at the airport but the activist declined. Sources said the government had asked Canada to personally handle the passport for Miguna, which the activist has declined to hand in at Immigration for visa stamping.

The Canadian officials were said to have spent three hours with Miguna at the airport before he declined the assistance to handle his passport. Miguna was said to have persisted in his argument that if he enters on his Canadian passport, it will be stamped with a tourist visa which gives him a time limit to stay in Kenya.

That was when the Immigration sent forms for Miguna to file for citizenship but he declined saying he wants to be given back his confiscated passport. Miguna spent Monday night at the JKIA police station after he dramatically disembarked from a Dubai bound flight where he was to be deported following a 10-hour contest at the airport, but in the morning he was said to have been returned to airport departure corridors.

The drama, which went on late into the night, resulted in the deployment of General Service Unit Officers at the Airport who repelled journalists who were covering the Miguna scuffle.

Even the presence of National Super Alliance (Nasa) leader Raila Odinga and Senate Minority leader James Orengo and businessman Jimmy Wanjigi to try and secure Miguna’s release did not work, as the leaders left seeming frustrated.

The situation was not any better yesterday as armed GSU officers denied journalists access to the Airport departures lobbies facade.

Following the standoff, Director of immigration Services Joseph Munywoki in a statement said immigration officials in compliance with the Justice Kimaru order requested Miguna to present the documents he had used to travel back to the country to facilitate his entry but he became unruly.

Munywoki demanded Miguna apply for Kenyan citizenship, which he had denounced in 1998, when he acquired a Canadian one through passport Number HP679627 which he renewed on June 2017, issued at North York, Canada.

The Law Society of Kenya (LSK) intervened in the matter condemning the manner in which security officers at JKIA treated Miguna on Monday night. In a statement, LSK President Allen Gichuhi demanded Miguna be treated with decency pending resolution of the matter.

LSK said Regulation 7 of the Kenya Citizenship and Immigration Regulations, 2012 provides that a dual citizen-holding Kenyan and foreign passport shall be entitled to use any of the passports held for entry into or exit from Kenya.

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