, NAIROBI, Kenya, Jun 28 – The Law Society of Kenya is now demanding an expeditious probe into the whereabouts of advocate Willie Kimani who went missing on Thursday last week, together with his client and a taxi driver.
The LSK specifically wants Inspector General of Police Joseph Boinnet and IPOA to explain what they describe as rising cases of advocates mysteriously disappearing, after another lawyer Albert Muriuki went missing two years ago.
They claim despite seeking answers from police on Muriuki’s whereabouts, they matter has never been addressed.
LSK President Isaac Okero on Tuesday said the rate at which advocates “are disappearing is alarming and must be addressed” while urging all members of the society to don purple ribbons beginning Wednesday, as a show of solidarity with their missing colleague.
“Like the many thousands advocates who are members of the Law Society of Kenya, Willie swore an oath “to faithfully represent his client while advancing the rule of law and protecting the constitution without fear or favour,” Okero said.
“We are now receiving from some of our members reports that suggest that threats and intimidation are becoming the order of the day, particularly when handling certain criminal cases.”
Kimani works as an investigator with the International Justice Mission and was abducted after attending court in Mavoko, in a case involving an Administration Police officer.
“It is completely unacceptable for him or indeed any advocate to be subjected to threats, intimidation, fear of harm or the risk of deprivation of life while discharging one’s duty as an advocate,” he asserted.
“It is an outrage that this is happening in our country. If criminals know that ‘taking out’ advocates and witnesses is the way to succeed in court then the justice system and the rule of law begin to crumble. This climate of terror must end.”
The LSK has demanded an explanation on the measures taken to find the advocates and to deter similar cases in future.
“We demand to know what the IGP and IPOA are doing about this,” Okero demanded. “Those responsible for their abduction must be brought to justice. This is a very serious threat to the profession and to the administration of justice.”
According to Okero, the Law Society of Kenya has been receiving similar reports from members of the public of the disappearance of Kenyans.
The society has given an incident where, “two young Kenyans, Erickson Aluda Mambo and Brian Nzenze who were last seen being escorted to the Kawangware Chief’s Camp on the 1st June 2016. ”
Similar cases of disappearances have been largely reported in the country, mostly involving terror suspects.
In the Northern Kenya, activists have accused police of being responsible of what they term as forceful disappearances of residents accused of being either members or sympathizers of Al Shabaab.