NAIROBI, Kenya, Feb 21 – The Director of Immigration Gordon Kihalangwa has surrendered Miguna Miguna’s seized Kenyan passport to the High Court.
Kihalangwa’s counsel, Fred Ngatia was however quick to point out in a letter addressed to High Court Deputy Registrar in charge of the criminal division, Rosslyn Aganyo, that the document had been perforated in accordance with standard procedure for seized passports.
“The applicant’s passport A116842 issued on March 23, 2009, was confiscated by the Immigration Department on February 6 and perforated as soon as the applicant was deported,” the letter dated February 20 read.
“In compliance with orders issued on February 15, we attach hereto the perforated passport of the applicant,” Ngatia wrote.
“In abundant caution, we wish to state that the action of compliance is without prejudice to our client’s (Kihalangwa) rights to challenge the legal validity of the orders issued by the court,” he added.
The order to relinquish Miguna’s passport was issued by Justice Luka Kimaru on February 15 when he declared null and void, a deportation order signed by Interior Cabinet Secretary Fred Matiangi.
Miguna however in a quick rejoinder termed the surrender of his perforated passport as a “fake story.”
He said the order to return his passport in seven days, “implies the return of a functioning, valid passport in the same manner that it was forcefully and illegally taken from me.”
“The respondents were not ordered to return to court something else different from what they had illegally confiscated,” he added in a response published on his social media accounts.
The hurried deportation of Miguna was done against the backdrop of multiple court orders including one issued by Justice Kimaru requiring National Police Service (NPS) Inspector General Joseph Boinnet and Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI) chief George Kinoti to personally produce the self-proclaimed National Resistance Movement general in court.
Justice Kimaru further suspended all criminal proceedings against Miguna until he was presented in court and released, following a successful cash bail application.
Police had captured Miguna in an early morning raid at his Runda home on February 2 but held him incommunicado in a number of police stations until February 6 when he was produced at a Magistrate’s Court in Kajiado.
Miguna did, however, decline to take a plea demanding that he be produced at a Nairobi court before which his bail application was due.
The Magistrate’s Court ordered Miguna’s transfer to Nairobi but Justice Kimaru was forced to adjourn late into the night after the police failed to produce him.
State Counsel Duncan Ondimu told the court the following day – February 7 – that Miguna had been deported to Canada on the night of February 6.
Boinnet and Kinoti later denied willful disobedience of the court saying in affidavits filed on February 9 that they had released Miguna as ordered by the court.
“I was informed by my officers that the applicant (Miguna) was released vide OB/6/2/18,” Kinoti stated in his affidavit.
An affidavit sworn by Kihalangwa showed that immigration officials re-arrested Miguna in compliance with a deportation order issued by the interior ministry.
Following the revelation, Justice Kimaru on February 15 found the Boinnet and Kinoti to be in contempt of court.
The two have since moved to the Court of Appeal to seek stay orders on grounds that they were not accorded an opportunity to defend themselves.
Miguna was at the time of his deportation facing treason-related charges over his role in the self-declared swearing in of National Super Alliance leader Raila Odinga as the “People’s President” on January 30 at the Uhuru Park in Nairobi.
He commissioned and witnessed Odinga oath.