High Court Gives Garissa County Official 30 Days to Pay Law Firm


High Court Judge John Onyiego has given an official from the Garissa County Government 30 days to pay a law firm Ksh 9,178,565.88 and interest.

Per the court ruling dated May 3, the official is accused of disobeying a court ruling issued in 2020 leading to the current lawsuit.

The official (respondent) was asked to pay the amount to an ex parte (applicant) including 12 per cent p.a interest but only paid Ksh1.1 million by June 2022.

“That via a consent agreement signed between the parties on March 17, 2022, the respondent committed that it would pay the decretal sum in four equal instalments as provided on the face of the said agreement with effect from February 5, 2022, up to June 2022. That as a condition to honouring the said consent, the applicant agreed to waive the accrued interest,” reads part of the court document.

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According to the court documents, the applicant was demanding the arrest and jailing of the respondent for six months for contempt and defiance of the court order.

Additionally, the applicant wanted the court to order the respondent to pay for the cost of the lawsuit and also issue other orders as it may deem fit.

Justice Onyiego explained that documents revealed that the respondent did not make efforts to obey the court orders and it was necessary to take action in order to uphold the dignity and authority of the court.

“It was averred that the respondent has remained in disobedience and defiance of the court order since the same was served upon them on 17.04.2020 and has shown no remorse for the defiance. This court was therefore urged to find the respondent in contempt,” the judge remarked.

He added that the respondent did not participate in the hearing of the application despite being served.

Despite the Contempt of Court Act being declared unconstitutional in 2018, Justice Onyiego added the High Court would use the laws before the enactment of the act to maintain the rule of law and leave no gap in the application of the rule of law.

Therefore, the judge found the county official in contempt of court and ordered the compliance of the order made in 2020 within 30 days of facing undisclosed consequences.

The judge further noted that the matter shall be mentioned on June 4, 2024, when the official shall appear in court to confirm compliance with the orders.

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