Kenya Political News, Analysis and Opinions

All Kenyans must follow court orders, Maraga says


Disobeying court orders is inimical to the rule of law, Chief Justice David Maraga has said.

Maraga spoke on Wednesday after IG Joseph Boinnet and DCI George Kinoti defied orders to release lawyer Miguna Miguna from police custody.

“Magistrates and judges have liberty to invoke legal avenues available to enforce orders,” Maraga noted in a statement.

“The recent disregard of court orders is an act that is not only inimical to the rule of law but also completely at odds with Kenyans’ constitutional rights.”

The CJ added that compliance with court orders is not an option for any individual or institution.

“Neither is it a favour to be doled out to the judiciary. Rather, it is a crucial matter of constitutional and civic obligation.”

Maraga noted all state officers took an oath of office to protect and uphold the constitution so disobeying it will attract penalties.

“To disobey a court order is not only a violation of the constitution but also dereliction of public duty,” he said.

He noted courts are “temples of justice and places of refuge” for those seeking protection.

“They must never be despoiled ether through acts of physical transgressions or blatant disregard of their pronouncements.”

Maraga assured Kenyans that the judiciary will continue to dispense its constitutional duty with independence and authority.

“We will ensure the rule of law, justice, good governance and equality are entrenched through our courts.”

After spending several nights in police cells, Miguna was forced into a plane to Canada on Tuesday night.

Despite a directive requiring Miguna to be taken to court, Interior CS Fred Matiang’i, in a move that clearly pit the executive against the judiciary, ordered that the lawyer remains in custody.

This was while frantic plans to have him removed from the courtly were being made.

Matiang’i, in a declaration that Miguna was a prohibited immigrant, said his directive was “sufficient warrant for police to keep Miguna in custody”.

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