A heated exchange erupted Friday between Chief Justice David Maraga and lawyer Ahmednasir Abdullahi following comments he made on social media regarding orders made by the Supreme Court.
The altercation occurred at the Supreme Court during the hearing of an application by the Director of Public Prosecutions seeking to stay an order by the appellate court to free two Iranians who were serving a 15-year jail term for terrorism. The case will be heard on March 13.
Justice Maraga told Mr Abdullahi that the judges of the Supreme Court were concerned about the comments he had been posting on social media.
The CJ was referring to the lawyer’s attacks on the Supreme Court’s decisions.
In one instance, the lawyer made remarks criticising the Supreme Court after the Embu High Court nullified the election of his client, Governor Martin Wambora.
He told the judges that some of their landmark decisions to stay Appeal Court verdicts were against the law, saying the court had no such jurisdictions.
“Do you want to litigate before this court or do you want to litigate elsewhere? You are arguing your case out there. We are wondering about the forum,” said Mr Maraga.
Mr Abdullahi replied: “With due respect, the comment I made is very valid. That this Supreme Court has no jurisdiction to detain people. It is a matter the president of this court should be more concern about than anything else.”
Mr Maraga said: “I know very well, Mr Ahmednassir. We are wondering about the forum where you were making those comments.”
Mr Ahmednassir said there was no gag order that prevented him from commenting about anything said in that court.
The CJ told Mr Abdullahi to raise such matters in court and not on social media or other forums outside court to which Mr Ahmednasir said: “Okay, my lord. I am sorry. I apologise. I am sorry about that.”