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Lawyer sues Nairobi County over alleged planned Ksh2B payment to 15 Law firms

The Nairobi County Government has been sued over alleged plan to pay Ksh2 billion to 15 law firms as pending bills.

In a suit filed by Lawyer Clinton Mwale, there are concerns about the selection criteria used to determine the payment to the 15 law firms involved.

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Nairobi County Governor Johnson Sakaja is the first respondent in the suit and the Law Society of Kenya has been listed as an interested party.

on Tuesday, High Court Judge Lawrence Mugambi directed all the defendants to be served within seven days.

“I have read the application dated 20th June 2023, together with the certificate of urgency and do hereby direct that: I decline all the ex-parte orders sought, the application be served within seven days,” the orders read in part.

In the suit, Mwale argues that the county government selected a few law firms for payment while discriminating the rest of the firms to have provided legal services to the county.

“It is not clear which modality the 1st Respondent used to settle on paying the said 15 Law Firms in clear discrimination of the Application Firm and other Firms that have equally provided legal services to the 1st Respondent,” the documents filed in court read.

The petitioner further states that the National Treasury in the process of disbursing money to offset pending bills to Nairobi County with just a few days to the end of this financial year.

“The applicant has since learnt that the National Treasury is in the process of disbursing some funds to the 1st Respondent for purposes of sorting pending bills and the Applicant has further learnt that the 1st Respondent has approved to pay around Kenya Shillings Two Billion to less than 15 Law firms.”

According to Mwale, the County government was supposed to rely on the report of The Committee on the Review, Scrutiny and Verification of Pending Legal Bills before selecting the 15 law firms.

“The Applicant is further apprehensive that the 1st responded might have ignored the report of the committee on the review, scrutiny and verification of pending legal bills even after using public resources to set up the Committee and support its logistics,” the court documents read

The court documents also indicate that Nairobi County owes various law firms more than Ksh21 billion as pending bills as of January 2023.

The law firms selected for the alleged payment include Ojienda and Co Advocates, Swanya and Company Advocates, Okatch and Partners, Ummi Bashir and Compoany Advocates, Arati and Company, Momanyi and Associates Advocates, Osoro Onyiego and Manyara Advocates and Moronge Advocates.

The matter will be mentioned on July 17 for further directions.

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