Raila Odinga has asked Kenyan-Canadian deportee Miguna Miguna to get this travel papers at the Kenya High Commission in Ottawa, Canada, to be allowed to re-enter the country.
Mr Odinga made the request at a London forum where he was giving a talk on his “building the bridges” initiative with President Uhuru Kenyatta.
But the fiery lawyer, who watched the forum that was streamed live on Daily Nation’s Facebook page on Friday, instead faulted Mr Odinga recount of the turn of events at the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (JKIA) that led to his second ejection from the country following hours of standoff.
Mr Odinga said that the Miguna deportation saga had been blown out of proportion and would have had a different outcome had the lawyer cooperated with immigration officers and Canadian High Commission officials who sought to facilitate his re-entry.
“I am the one who brought Miguna into NASA, and Miguna was one of those who swore me in as the people’s president. And I raised this issue with Uhuru Kenyatta myself. I said Miguna must be part of the package of this handshake, and I talked to Miguna myself and told him to come back,’’ said Raila Odinga.
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Mr Odinga said he took Miguna’s hand at the JKIA airport and as they walked, the police officers closed the door telling him Miguna only needs to comply with instructions to have his passport stamped to be allowed into the country.
While Mr Miguna does not dispute that Mr Odinga took his hand and tried to escort him out of the airport that night, he took issue with Mr Odinga’s claim that he refused to hand over his passport for stamping.
“It’s completely unacceptable for Mr Odinga to minimize the barbaric treatment I have been subjected to by suggesting that all I am required to do is go to Ottawa and receive my Kenyan passport when [Immigration PS Gordon] Kihalangwa has served a letter to me through the Kenya National Commission for Human Rights and my advocates stating that they will not issue me with a passport, and that they are continuing to disobey Justice Luca Kimaru’s order that quashed their purported cancellation of my citizenship,” said a statement sent exclusively to Nation.
The opposition leader told his audience that upon enquiring from Miguna where his passport was, he said he only had his national identity card. Mr Odinga said the police officers said if they allowed him to enter the country without the passport they would have been in trouble and it was then that they locked him in.
“The following morning they invited officials from the Canadian High Commission to the airport who then gave Miguna forms to sign so they could be stamped but he tore them up,” said Mr Odinga.
But Miguna has termed false the claim that he was asked to produce his passport for stamping at the airport.
He said Mr Odinga was aware that his Kenyan passport had been seized and perforated, and that despite a court order he had not been issued with a new travel document.
“It is not true that anybody asked me for anything at the airport. They simply refused to allow me entry. In fact, they had already booked a return flight for me in the Air Dubai flight that was leaving that night. The one that they tried to force me into and I refused to board,” said Mr Miguna.