Senior Counsel Lawyer Ahmednassir Abdullahi has suffered a major setback after the Supreme Court on Thursday permanently barred him from appearing before it over his consistent disparaging remarks made against the institution and its judges on various media platforms.
The unanimous ban issued by the seven-judge bench of the Apex Court also applies to his law firm including his employees. His law firm will now not be filing cases before the Supreme Court and the decision will also affect the lawyer’s client list and their respective cases.
In a letter to Ahmednassir this evening, the Supreme Court judges led by Chief Justice Martha Koome, her Deputy Philomena Mwilu and Justices Mohamed Ibrahim, Smokin Wanjala, Njoki Ndungu, Isaac Lenaola and William Ouko said it decided due to the Senior Counsel’s attacks which seek to destroy the individual judges’ reputation.
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“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,” the Supreme Court Registrar wrote in the letter to the Senior Counsel.
The Supreme Court said it took the decision since the lawyer has over the years engaged in a campaign to scandalize and ridicule the top court in the country court.
“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, ” the letter states in part the Registrar of the Supreme Court is signed by the Registrar of the Supreme Court Letizia Wachira.
The lawyer stands accused of running a smear campaign against the highest court in the land as well as the seven-judge bench that sits on it for years, through relentless accusations of corruption and incompetence.
This, the court stated, went on despite the institution’s exercise of restraint as well as a 2018 ruling where Ahmednasir was warned of future consequences if he continued with his unwanted attacks.
“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 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 supreme court says.
In the ruling, the Supreme Court had issued a stern warning to Senior Counsel Ahmednassir Abdullahi following his disparaging remarks on how they handled the case against two Iranians convicted of terror charges.
Before the warning, in December 2018, the lawyer accused the top court of behaving like a headless chicken and lacking impartiality in the case.
Ahmednassir said the court was exercising illegitimate political power over the two Iranians who were acquitted by the Court of Appeal and that there was a moral and ethical dilemma whenever he appeared before them.
In a ruling read by Justice Jackton Ojwang’, the Supreme Court said willful insults directed at a judge during the trial are prohibited. The judges were deciding a matter involving two Iranian terror suspects.
While officially banning Ahmednassir from before them, the judges of the supreme court say that the caution as recorded in the ruling in the two Iranians, appears not to have had any sobering effect upon him.
“On the contrary, you have persisted in your unsubstantiated and virulent attacks against the leadership and membership of the Court,” the Apex court said.
They added that the senior counsel had continued to display insensitivity and abusive arrogance against the Court which is unlawful.
“Because 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,” Supreme court stated.
The Supreme Court, in the communique sent to the lawyer, compiled some of the other statements he was accused of generating against the Court.
It further warned that the punishment meted on Ahmednasir would serve as an example to other lawyers and judicial officials.
Following the ban, the lawyer immediately rebuffed the letter signed by Registrar of Supreme Court in his X account terming the ban “Isn’t it a badge of honour for the most corrupt court in Kenya to refuse me and my law firm an audience?”