Court summons ex-Igembe North MP, 3 others over unpaid legal fees in Miraa ban case

Tuesday, October 8th, 2019 10:22 |

High Court has summoned former Igembe North Member of Parliament (MP) Joseph M’eruaki and two others for failing to obey a court order to pay Lawyer Henry Kurauka Sh500,000 as legal fees.

Justice Lucy Njuguna summoned M’eruaki, Kimathi Munjuri alias Sakijo and Dave Ntawa Alias Blackie to appear in court on October 23 and explain why they have not paid Kurauka Sh536,904 legal fees for representing them in Miraa ban case.

Three are members of Ad Hoc Committee that represented Miraa farmers in management of funds in the petition number 25 of 2018 for Miraa ban by NACADA.

"The defendants were members of Ad Hoc Committee that represented various committees and associations that were tasked to transparently and accountably manage miraa legal fees. Funds that was raised by Miraa farmers, traders, stakeholders and well-wishers in November 2013," reads Kurauka court papers.

It is said that the over Sh10 million raised were meant to strictly meet legal expenses of the lawyers in the UK and Kurauka & Co advocate’s law firms.

However, the three are expected in court and explain why they have not paid lawyer Kurauka of his legal fees and why they are publishing defamatory articles against him.

“In a mischievous move to sanitize and justify their conspiracy and attempt to misappropriate Miraa Legal Fees Fund, the defendants have published and uttered words that are highly scandalous, false, malicious, slanderous and defamatory,” said Kurauka.

On August 29, 2019, Kurauka said that M’eruaki and Munjuri maliciously and wrongfully made composed, written and published in print media and broadcast media misleading and defamatory words against him.

"Unless injunctive orders are granted the defendants will continue publish defamatory posts damaging the plaintiff reputation this rendering him to suffer great’s and irreparable damage,” reads court documents.

“I am seeking an injunction restraining the respondent from misappropriating or putting into their personal use the legal Mira fees funds deposited at the co-operative bank save for the purpose of payment of outstanding legal fees to Kurauka and co Advocates,” added Kurauka.

He added the defendants and other committee members refused to meet him to agree on his legal fees and payment thereof.

The court duly ordered that Kurauka be paid 536,904 in respect of the petition no.25 of 2018 for Miraa ban by Nacada according to the orders of justice James Makau dated April 1, 2019.

Kurauka said that the said orders have not been appealed against and no application has been filed to set aside the lawful and constitutional orders of the judge and the deputy registrar.

The legal fees incurred in the suit in respect of Miraa Ban in London are yet to be paid by the defendants.

It is contended that the plaintiff ought to be paid more fees than that the lawyers in UK got because he rendered more services thereof.

It emerged that Sh1.7 million was left in the bank account after Dass Solicitors in London were paid Sh7 million and their local representative lawyer Kurauka paid Sh 600,000.

The money had been contributed by farmers who were forced to pay Sh500 after a Njuri Ncheke order.President Uhuru Kenyatta and his deputy William Ruto contributed Sh5 million, Meru County government Sh 2 million while the rest of the money was contributed by leaders during a funds drive at Maili Tatu grounds.

The Sh2 million contributed by Meru County government became part of the 2013/2014 Auditor general’s report queries with Meru County Assembly directing that officials who paid the money be surcharged. 

The signatories of the miraa funds account have now threatened to sue the bank and lawyer Kurauka for fraudulently withdrawing Sh536,000 from the bank account.

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