BY SAM ALFAN.
Senior Counsel James Orengo has the right of representing Kenya Civil Aviation Authority in a dispute involving the land on which Weston Hotel stands.
While responding to application by Senior Counsel Ahmednasir Abdullahi, who wants Orengo stopped from acting for KCAA, the Siaya Senator said he is only engaged as one of the lead advocates.
Senior Counsel Orengo argued that every litigant has a constitutional right to representation by an advocate of choice as an integral part of the right to fair hearing and attempt to bar him or any other advocate is an attempt at interfering with the KCAA’s right to an Advocate of choice as an aspect of fair hearing.
“The questions of disqualification and procurement are irrelevant. In any event, the question relating to how a Client litigant procures his advocate of choice is not for this Environment and Land Court to determine, but by the Public Procurement Administrative Review Board”, said Orengo SC.
He added that Weston Hotel cannot be allowed to determine for KCAA which lawyer to represent the agency. He added that serving in the Senate does not bar him from representing a party in court.
“The fact that I am a Senate Majority Leader does not introduce any issue of conflict of interest. In any event, the Senate Minority Leader does not oversight parastatals such as KCAA,” added Orengo.
SC Orengo said there can be no conflict of interest or bar against him in seeking to assist a public body to regain public land improperly appropriated against the law and Weston Hotel application demonstrates its legitimate fear and apprehension on the capacity and capabilities of the Petitioner’s advocates which fear cannot be allowed to supersede the Petitioner’s right to counsel of choice.
He further said ODM party is not a party in the proceedings, nor to the best of their knowledge is Weston Hotel a political party or aspirant.
“We however note and welcome the insinuation and the association implied between Weston Hotel and some political actors which caused the irregular acquisition of the land in issue as contended in the Petition,” he said.
He said the application Weston is merely intended to introduce sideshows and prolong proceedings so as to avoid addressing the issues within the Petition on merit.
“It cannot lie for Ahmednassir, SC to raise such objection when, throughout his own term as a state officer serving in the Judicial Service Commission, he practiced in courts for the entire duration without any restriction,” added Orengo.
Ahmednassir for Weston Hotel filed application seeking Siaya Senator James Orengo stopped representing Kenya Civil Aviation Authority in a dispute involving the land on which Weston Hotel stands.
In an application filed in court, Ahmednassir argued that Orengo, who previously served as Lands minister during retired President Mwai Kibaki’s administration, should be disqualified from representing the State agency on the basis of conflict of interest.