Chief Justice David Maraga has warned that disobeying court orders is a violation of the Constitution with dire consequences.
In a statement, Maraga has condemned the blatant disregard of court orders by some government officers in the recent days which he termed as a worrying trend in the administration of justice.
“The recent disregard of court orders is an act that is not only inimical to the rule of law but also completely at odds with Kenyans constitutional rights’’.
He added “I wish to reiterate that every Government Officer, Government institution or private citizen is obliged to comply with court orders. Failure to do so there are consequences,”.
The renewed battle between the Judiciary and the Executive comes days after Inspector General of Police Joseph Boinnet and Director of Criminal Investigations George Kinoti defied orders to release lawyer Miguna Miguna from police custody.
He stated that there are legal avenues through which redress can be sought adding that judicial officers are empowered to penalize the offending parties.
“Compliance of court orders is not an option by an individual or institution. Neither is it a favour to be doled out to the Judiciary. Rather, it is a crucial matter of constitutional and civil obligation. If any party is aggrieved by a court order, there are legal mechanisms to have it reviewed, varied or set aside or even appealing against it,”
Maraga noted that all state officers took an oath of office to protect and uphold the constitution hence disobeying it will attract penalties.
The CJ sought to assure the country that the Judiciary would continue to dispense its constitutional duty with independence and authority.
Meanwhile, High Court Judge Luka Kimaru has ordered the Inspector General of Police Joseph Boinett and the Directorate of Criminal Investigations Director George Kinoti to swear affidavits and file them by February 9th explaining how controversial lawyer Miguna Miguna was released from police custody.
The judge also ordered the IG and DCI to swear affidavits and also personally appear in court on February 14th to show course why they should not be punished for disobeying the court.
The Judge further ordered the Director of Immigration department Major General (Rtd) Gordon Kihalangwa to swear and file affidavits explaining circumstances under which he assumed Miguna’s custody before deporting him on Tuesday night to Canada.
Lawyers representing Miguna moved to court on receiving news of Miguna’s deportation to Canada by the government.
The team of lawyers led by Siaya Senator James Orengo urged the court to summon both the Inspector General of Police and CID Director to explain why they did not produce him as ordered.