Ahmednasir’s Law Firm Sues Supreme Court Judges over Ban

February 6, 2024

Senior Counsel Ahmednasir Abdullahi’s law firm is contesting orders that prevent him from making submissions before the Supreme Court.

Chief Justice Martha Koome issued the decree last month, accusing Ahmednasir of consistently scandalizing the court.

Ahmednasir Abdullahi LLP, along with its 11 associates, has individually filed lawsuits against the seven Supreme Court judges regarding the decision to ban the lawyer, his law firm, and associates from appearing before the apex court in response to his criticism.

The associates involved in the court action are Ali Osman, Peter Muchoki, Irene Jelagat, Cohen Amanya, Khadijah Said, Elizabeth Wangui, Bernard Ongeri, Tony Kiprotich, and Mohammed Billow.

In the case, their lawyer, Issa Mansur, argued that the decision by the apex court was not a result of a judicial process but rather an administrative one.

Mansur contends that the ban is not immune to being challenged before the lower courts, as it lacks legitimacy.

“The ban which is for an unspecified period of time is a draconian step against the petitioners and all advocates presently and in future, working for the first petitioner firm from representing any client at the Supreme Court,” he said.

Mansur informed Justice Lawrence Mugambi that the judges of the highest court abused their power by not providing his clients with an opportunity to be heard before imposing the ban. He argued that they neglected to specify the sections of the Supreme Court Act, the Fair Administrative Action Act, and the Advocates Act on which they relied.

“In so far as the decision sanctions and or regulates the professional conduct of Mr Ahmednasir Abdullahi SC, no disciplinary proceedings have been instituted against the said senior counsel in respect to the matters complained in the said letter,” he said.

The lawyer asserted that any of the seven judges who feel aggrieved by Ahmednasir’s comments should file a lawsuit against him.

“In fact, the arbitrary decision of the seven judges constituting the Supreme Court conveyed through the letter dated January 18, 2024, in paragraph four acknowledges that indeed the decision conveyed therein shall have adverse impact on clients who may have instructed the first petitioner to represent them but does not offer any remedy to mitigate the harshness of the wholly inappropriate action,” Mansur said.

The lawyer argued that Ahmednasir is distinct from his law firm, as it has other partners and employees.

Furthermore, he submitted that all others who were not part of the standoff between Ahmednasir and the judges would suffer without being informed of the alleged offenses they had committed.

“While it is evident that the actions taken by the first to seventh respondents is targeted at Mr Ahmednasir Abdullahi, it is pertinently clear that the petitioners stand to suffer in the dispute between the first to seventh response and Ahmednasir Abdullahi in his personal capacity and in the manner in which he has robustly exercised his freedom of expression in commenting on matters of public interest,” the court heard.

The law firm and associates want the court to declare that Supreme Court judges and Muthoni are not above the law. Additionally, they are seeking orders to annul the ban and cover the associated costs.

A similar case was lodged by the Law Society of Kenya (LSK), contending that the top court had encroached upon its authority to handle and discipline advocates. LSK further argued that the ban was unjust as it encompassed individuals and litigants who were not involved in the matter.

Justice Mugambi directed them to serve the court papers and attend before Justice Chacha Mwita on February 7, the date when the LSK case will be mentioned.

Don't Miss