The government will challenge the High Court’s award of Sh7.2 million to Canada-based lawyer Miguna Miguna after he was deported early this year.
In a notice of appeal, Attorney-General Paul Kihara Kariuki indicated that his office, together with that of Interior Cabinet Secretary Fred Matiang’i and Immigration Principal Secretary Gordon Kihalangwa, who were earlier sued by the lawyer, will appeal Justice Enoch Chacha Mwita’s December 14 decision.
The judge ruled that Mr Miguna’s rights were grossly violated when he was arrested, arraigned in court without being charged and then deported early this year.
He further noted that the government’s cancellation of Mr Miguna’s passport and declaring him a prohibited immigrant were null and void.
The judge said that even if the lawyer had to be deported, the process should have been carried out in line with the Fair Administrative Act.
The judge also faulted Interior CS Matiang’i, his PS, and Inspector General of Police Joseph Boinnet for violating the law and denying Mr Miguna a fair hearing.
In May, Mr Miguna filed a fresh application seeking unconditional re-entry into the country, after two failed attempts.
That was after the High Court issued orders for his release from police custody, but was instead deported. He faulted the government for failing to facilitate his r entry into Kenya.
Mr Miguna was deported, for the second time, on March 29, after spending more than 72 hours in a tiny room at the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (JKIA) after he was denied entry into the country.
He had been arrested from his Nairobi residence shortly after Orange Democratic Movement party leader Raila Odinga’s mock swearing-in, detained and then deported.
The government claimed he was a Canadian national. It argued that he had not reapplied for Kenyan citizenship after the promulgation of the 2010 Constitution.
The High Court fined Dr Matinag’i, Dr Kihalangwa and Mr Boinnet Sh200,000 for not appearing in court to explain why the State had deported Mr Miguna, contrary to court orders. They had attended a General Service Unit graduation ceremony, they said.
They appealed against the temporary orders for Mr Miguna’s release and challenged the fines imposed on them in the appellate court.
Everything is now in the hands of the Court of Appeal, so it might be too early for Mr Miguna to celebrate his victory.