The High Court in Mombasa has adjourned the hearing of an application seeking to bar Senator James Orengo from representing state officials being investigated for corruption and other criminal offences.
The Director of Public Prosecution wants Orengo barred from representing Kenya Ports Authority Managing Director Daniel Manduku who is being investigated.
Justice Erick Ogola gave this order after Orengo said he had not prepared himself to respond to the application by the DPP.
“My Lords the DPP served me with these authorities today and I have not had time to go through them. I am therefore asking for an adjournment to enable me to prepare myself adequately,” said Orengo.
The Judge ordered the parties to file their documents within seven days and serve respective parties before going back for the hearing of the application on March 4 this year.
In their application the state wants the court to stop James Orengo from representing Manduku on account of the conflict of interest.
An affidavit sworn by Ms Wakio Mwamburi argues that since Orengo is a state officer by being Minority Leader of Senate he should not represent Manduku who is being investigated for alleged loss of public funds and abuse of office.
“The petitioner in petition number 204 of 2019 Daniel Ogwoka Manduku being Managing Director of KPA in under investigation for alleged loss of public funds and abuse of office,” said Mwamburi.
Mwamburi said as the office of the DPP they were fully aware of one’s right to a counsel of their own choice but that right was not absolute especially where conflict of interest could be demonstrated.
A full-time state officer like Orengo under section 26 of the Leader and Integrity Act is not allowed to engage in any gainful employment more so where that engagement is likely to impair the judgment of a state officer in the execution of the functions of the state office.
The DPP wants the court to direct Manduku to higher another lawyer instead of Orengo and stop him and any other MP from representing state officers in the court.
Muteti wants all state officers such as Majority Leader Kipchumba Murkomen, Okongo Omogeni, Mutula Kilonzo Junior, Peter Kaluma Daniel Maanzo and Irungu Kangata from representing persons charged with matters touching on public issues.