Ahmednassir wants court to dismiss Maraga suit

Friday, April 30th, 2021 00:00 |
Senior Counsel Ahmednassir Abdullahi. Photo/PD/FILE

Bernice Mbugua @BerniceMuhindi

Senior Counsel Ahmednassir Abdullahi now wants the court to dismiss suit filed against him by former Chief Justice David Maraga saying it is incurably defective.

Maraga had sued Ahmednassir for allegedly defaming him through his Twitter handle by posting a scandalous tweet insinuating that he knowingly condoned and presided over a Judiciary that was inept and corrupt.

In a defence statement filed in court, Ahmednasir, however, claims the suit ought to be dismissed as it arose on January 12, 2021 when he still held the public and constitutional office of the Chief Justice.

According to the lawyer, Maraga cannot maintain a cause of action that is premised on criticism of his public office as a Chief Justice as a private citizen cannot maintain a complaint relating to his previous public office.

“The tortious claim relates to his previous offices and not to him as an individual … a tort of libel that allegedly occurred during the tenure does not in law transit with him into retirement and is extinguished with the expiry of his tenure in the public and constitutional office he held,” says Ahmednasir in court documents.

Condoned corruption

According to the Senior Counsel, the tort of defamation is an action against him and since the former CJ pleads that Nassir defamed him in his public capacity as CJ, the suit cannot be maintained for the tort of libel that allegedly arose during the said public tenure.

In the suit, the former CJ, who describes himself as an elder of the Seventh-day Adventist Church, stated the words contained in the tweet were intended to mean that he was not a decent, honest, transparent Kenyan and that he condoned corruption in the Judiciary.

He is seeking an order directing Ahmednasir to publish a suitable and fitting apology given as much prominence as the defamatory publication on his twitter handle and in two local newspapers. The case will be heard on June 9.

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