NAIROBI, Kenya, May 19 – Talk-show host Jeff Koinange was released on a cash bail of Sh100,000 on Tuesday after being arrested the same morning for failing to honour court summons.
Through his lawyer Edwin Sifuna, Koinange told the court that he was not served with the summons and had therefore not deliberately failed to honour it.
“Proper procedure was not followed in serving the summons. My client learnt of it through the media,” Sifuna told the court.
He also argued that the Chief Magistrate’s Court had no business issuing an arrest warrant against his client as contempt of court proceedings fell under the purview of the High Court.
A superior court from which, he informed the Chief Magistrate’s Court, his client had sought relief on Monday and before which he would appear again on Wednesday.
Koinange and political analyst Tony Gachoka, with whom he’s jointly facing a defamatory suit, moved to the High Court Monday seeking to block their arrest.
Chief Magistrate Maisy Chesang’ ordered their arrest on May 14 after their failed to honour summons to appear before her to answer to charges of defamation.
Businessman Jimi Wanjigi filed a complaint against Koinange and Gachoka before the court, accusing them of making defamatory statements against his company by linking it to the Anglo-Leasing scandal on the Jeff Koinange Live show in March.
Allegations they went on to air, Wanjigi argued, despite there already being a case pending before the High Court seeking to stop its broadcast.
But the very fact that the matter had already been brought before another – and a higher court at that – Koinange and Gachoka’s lawyers argued, made their case that the Chief Magistrate’s Court had no business issuing an arrest order against them.
Wanjigi’s legal representatives however insisted that Koinange and Gachoka had contempt of court charges to answer to arguing that the flooding that resulted from heavy rains in Nairobi on May 13 were not reason enough to skip court proceedings the following day.
Koinange and Gachoka’s legal representatives had presented this, before Justice Weldon Korir, as the reason they were unable to represent their clients in court on May 14.
They however insisted that they had requested learned friends to hold brief for them and apply for an adjournment which they failed to do.