NAIROBI, Kenya, Feb 2 – Lawyers representing the deported Akasha sons and two foreigners who are facing drug trafficking charges in the US engaged in a war of words Thursday over who has the right to speak for them, while accusing the government of violating the law.
A scuffle ensued at a Nairobi hotel when the Prof George Wajackoyah and Cliff Ombeta traded accusations over the deportations of Baktash and Ibrahim Akasha plus the two foreigners.
Prof Wajackoyah who served as counsel for Gulam Hussein, a Pakistani national who was deported alongside Baktash, Ibrahim and Vijaygiri Goswami – blamed Ombeta, who represented the Akasha’s for working towards the collapse of the case, prompting a heated debate between the two.
“I am not trying to do what he (Ombeta) does as usual – seeking publicity,” Wajackoyah charged amid a heated exchange. “My friend is a publicity seeker and he’s probably the person who brought this case down.”
“Jealous for you Prof? Jealous for who? You cannot even address a court properly that is why you were fired from this case,” Ombeta retorted.
Ombeta, who left proceedings in a Nairobi court on hearing Wajackoyah was set to address the press on the deportation of the Akasha’s, told off Wajackoyah saying he had no right to speak on the matter since the Akasha family terminated his services on January 25.
At some point, Ombeta even placed a call to a sister of Baktash and Ibrahim, who was heard telling him to stop Wajackoyah from addressing the press on the deportation of the two.
“Stop the professor (Wajackoyah) , stop him now!” she ordered!
Wajackoyah however dismissed the claims saying he was not representing the interests of the Akasha’s despite having earlier alluded to unpaid dues by the family.
“They all have their lawyers and there’s no head prefect in this matter,” he said insisting that he had called the press conference to comment on the deportation of his client – Hussein.
According to Wajackoyah, claims by Ombeta that he had actually been sacked from Akasha’s defence team was misleading since he was only represented the Pakistani national and not the Akasha’s.
The duo however later muted their heated arguments blaming the government for allowing the extradition of the four suspects to the United States in total disregard of a court order barring security forces from doing so.
“The High Court gave me an order to stop the deportation of the suspects long before these people were taken out on Monday,” said Ombeta in a separate interview.
He pointed an accusing finger at the police, whom he said frustrated his efforts to serve the court orders.
“In as much as I tried the orders, it was only a matter of threat and by the time we went back to the court in the afternoon we later learnt that they had been deported on Monday night.”
Ombeta, who insisted that he believed in the innocence of his clients said he will explore avenues to have them brought back for trial in Kenya adding that he was not keen to travel to the US to defend them for fear of victimization.
The four suspects are facing charges in the US for conspiracy to import heroin and methamphetamine into the United States.