Senior Counsel Ahmednasir Abdullahi Photo: dailyactive.info

Senior Counsel Ahmednasir Abdullahi has been handed a permanent ban from appearing before the Supreme Court of Kenya, a decision rendered by a full seven-judge bench. 

This significant measure stems from Abdullahi’s consistent and baseless attacks on judges and the judiciary, highlighting a breach in maintaining the institution’s reputation and the integrity of its judges. The Supreme Court judges, in making this decision, emphasized the incongruity of seeking justice within the same institution Abdullahi persistently assails, building upon a 2018 warning issued by a bench, presided over by former Chief Justice, David Maraga, cautioning Abdullahi against unfounded attacks on the court.

In his response, Abdullahi, a former commissioner of the Judicial Service Commission (JSC), declared on the X platform that the prohibition against him and his law firm was considered “a badge of honour.” Aligned with President William Ruto’s call for a substantial overhaul to combat corruption within the judicial system, Abdullahi blatantly expressed deep concerns about unprecedented levels of corruption in the country’s history. Abdullahi also ccused some judges of operating with impunity and claimed that the JSC was shielding corrupt judges, contending that the present corruption in the judiciary, surpassed even the levels observed during Moi’s era.

Senior Counsel, Donald Kipkorir, contributed to the ongoing discourse by emphasizing the legal authority vested in higher courts. Kipkorir pointed to specific legal provisions, such as Section 27 of The Supreme Court Act and Section 3 of The Appellate Jurisdiction Act, granting the Supreme Court and the Court of Appeal powers akin to those of the High Court. Kipkorir highlighted the empowerment of higher courts to directly address issues related to errant advocates, bypassing the Advocates Complaints Commission. Underscoring the Advocates Act, Kipkorir affirmed the High Court’s authority to discipline, ban, or strike a lawyer off the Roll of Advocates, for actions bringing the court into public scandal and disrepute. 

Kipkorir concluded by emphasizing that lawyers, unlike non-lawyers, cannot make extreme and malicious allegations against judges without accountability, underscoring the imperative for the judiciary to actively safeguard its reputation. 

This unfolding narrative captures the layers of the conflict, revealing Abdullahi’s persistent stance against perceived corruption within the judiciary and the intricate legal considerations surrounding disciplinary actions.

However, Eric Theuri, the Law Society of Kenya (LSK) President, strongly opposed the Supreme Court’s decision arguing that individuals have a constitutional right to choose their legal counsel, and that the court overstepped its mandate. Theuri asserted that the court lacks the authority to bar a duly authorized advocate, and labeled the decision as illegal and unjust, potentially damaging the judiciary’s reputation. Theuri expressed concern and stated that LSK intends to seek a retraction and apology from the Supreme Court.