Lawyer wants legislators barred from representing Raila, Ruto in court
City lawyer Ahmednasir Abdullahi wants elected leaders who are lawyers to be prevented from representing clients in the presidential petition at the Supreme Court.
His concerns come even as all eyes will, from Monday and the next 14 days, be focused on the seven judges of the Supreme Court, who have until September 5 to determine whether President-Elect William Ruto won validly.
Ahmednasir, a Senior Counsel, says the Supreme Court must confront the constitutional question as to whether elected leaders should practice law.
“The Supreme Court must confront the burning constitutional question as to whether Governors, Senators and MPs-Elect can engage in the practice of law contrary to the Constitution and appear for parties in the Presidential petition? The courts have variously said: NO,” Ahmednasir (pictured) wrote on Twitter.
The petitioner, Azimio candidate Raila Odinga, has lined up Siaya governors-Elect James Orengo and Mutula Kilonzo Jnr (Makueni) and Senators-Elect Tom Ojienda (Kisumu) Daniel Maanzo (Makueni) and Okong’o Omogeni (Nyamira) to overturn Ruto’s win.
Others in Raila’s legal team are MPs Otiende Amollo (Rarieda) and TJ Kajwang’(Ruaraka).
Senior Counsel Pheroze Nowrojee, Phillip Murgor and Amos Wako are also in the team.
President-Elect Ruto has retained Elgeyo Marakwet Senator-Elect Kipchumba Murkomen and Uasin-Gishu Woman Representative Gladys Shollei to defend his election.
President Uhuru Kenyatta’s former lawyer, Senior Counsel Fred Ngatia, Adrian Kamotho, Elias Mutuma, Collins Kiprono and Emmanuel Kibet are part of Ruto’s team.
Lawyer Donald Kipkorir says Article 77 of the Constitution bars State Officers from engaging in any other gainful employment.
“Lawyers who are Senators and MPs break this Constitutional provision with impunity whenever they practice law. EACC, DPP, and LSK should enforce this Article,” Kipkorir wrote, adding that the Constitution is supreme.
But Nowrojee said there is no law barring MPs who are also lawyers from representing litigants in court.
“Where is the conflict of interest if he says that he wants Mr. X to represent him in court?” he said in a previous interview.