The Law Society of Kenya demanded a retraction and apology from the Supreme Court over the move to ban Senior Counsel Ahmednasir Abdullahi from appearing before it.
LSK president Eric Theuri said Friday January 19 the court had lost it on the move.
“The Law Society will not allow its statutory mandate to be encroached upon by the court and will seek an immediate retraction and apology from the Supreme Court,” he said.
He argued every person has a constitutional right to counsel of his choice and the court cannot violate a consumer’s rights by dictating who should appear before them.
“The court has no legal right to bar an advocate duly authorized by the Law Society to practice law. The decision has no basis in law, is illegal, irregular and paints the court as a purveyor of injustice.”
“At a time when the Judiciary is in cross hairs the decision justifies the attacks on the Judiciary,” he said in a statement on X.
He added the decision violates the principle of right to be heard which is a basic element of any fair decision.
Further, he argued, the decision sets a dangerous precedent where courts can bar anyone they dislike.
LSK joined the list of those who have reacted to the move by the apex court.
The Supreme Court Thursday barred Ahmednasir and associates of his law firm from making submissions before the court.
The apex court said the lawyer has “relentlessly and unabashedly… scandalized and ridiculed” it.
“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,” the statement read.
The lawyer immediately rebuffed the statement signed by Registrar of Supreme Court Letizia Wachira terming the ban “a badge of honour”.
The top court said whilst the decision is bound to affect litigants who had already sought the senior counsel’s legal services before the Court, “it is untenable that you would seek justice in the very institution and before the very Judges, whose reputation and integrity you never tire in assaulting”.
This in the full statement: “Over the years, you have relentlessly and unabashedly conducted a campaign in the broadcast, print and social media aimed at scandalizing, ridiculing and out- rightly denigrating this Court. Through social media posts, media interviews and write-ups, you have accused the Court either in its constitutive persona, or individual membership, of acts of corruption, incompetence and outright bribery.
This, you have done with reckless abandon, paying scant regard to the reputations of those who tirelessly serve on the Court in accordance with their Oath of Office.
Notwithstanding the damage to the reputation of the Court, and the Judges who have served thereon over the years, both in its corporate and individual posture, and in an effort to render justice to those you represent, the Court has exercised restraint by not deploying the punitive tools available to it against you.
You will recall that in its ruling in the case of Republic v Ahmad Abdolfadhi Mohammed & Anor, SC Petition No. 39 of 2018, following sustained and unsubstantiated attacks directed by you against the Court, you were cautioned that such conduct would in the future, not go unpunished.
The caution as recorded in the ruling above, appears not to have had any sobering effect upon you. On the contrary, you have persisted in your unsubstantiated and virulent attacks against the leadership and membership of the Court. The insensitivity and abusive arrogance you continue to display against the Court in your frequent media postings, cannot be said to be animated by your quest for Justice. Ironically, even as you persist in your attacks against the Court, you do not see any contradiction in filing cases in the very institution and appearing before the very Judges you daily accuse of corruption and incompetence. 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, or acting pursuant to your instructions. Much as this decision is bound to affect those who may have instructed you to represent them before the Court, it is untenable that you would seek justice in the very institution and before the very Judges, whose reputation and integrity you never tire in assaulting.
Attached to this Communication is a compilation of some of the statements that you have personally been generating against the Court, its leadership, and its membership over the years. This compilation shall serve as an authoritative
reference point for those who may seek to validate the proportionality or otherwise of the Court’s action against you.”