In a shocking move that was totally unexpected, lawyer Ahmednasir Abdulahi will represent Jubilee Party alongside Fred Ngatia in a case in which NASA is challenging the award of ballot printing tender to Dubai based firm Al-Ghurair.
Abdullahi was seen as among a number of critical voices within the Kenyan elite who had cut links with the ‘mediocre’ Jubilee despite their fervent support for it in 2013. The last time Ahmednasir acted for Jubilee was during the 2013 presidential election case where he represented IEBC Chairman Isaack Hassan. In that case, Fred Ngatia represented President Uhuru while Katwa Kigen represented Deputy President William Samoei Ruto.
A number of sources have told Kenya Today Ahmednasir met President Uhuru in the presence of Fred Ngatia and Solicitor General Njee Muturi where the President apologized for ‘neglecting’ him.
This writer has been informed that an instant amount of Ksh 50 million was offered (allegation, not confirmed)), and taken.
Since 2013, frustrated by the hounding from the Judicial Service Commission, and badly losing an LSK election, Ahmednasir has been facing turbulence in his legal career which also included declining client base including by well-connected Mogadishu politicians, Somali government and military officials.
Jubilee Party is not leaving anything to chance after losing a critical case at the Court of Appeal that quashed IEBC plans to set up a national tallying centre, with the IEBC Chair as the returning officer of the presidential vote.
With ballot printing remaining the main bone of contention between Jubilee and NASA, the stakes of the Al Ghurair case were always going to be high.
“His legal career was dwindling…since 2014, he has not ‘won’ any real case, furthermore, he lost a case on Tatu City to his former student (advocate) Nelson Havi. He badly needed this case to return to national notoriety,” said a lawyer who requested anonymity.
And as fate would have it, Jubilee Party was desperate to sign him in, considering he has been among the most vociferous critics of the regime online. At some point, Ahmednasir had to record a statement with Police at Kilimani station and briefly went to hiding in Australia, accusing CID boss Ndegwa Muhoro of plotting to kill him.
“The two are known to ‘getting’ judges deliver favorable rulings or judgements. It remains to be seen what trick they will pull but get it from me, this case won’t be decided on its own merits,” a source familiar with how Ngatia and Ahmednasir work in the judiciary intimated.
The case is to be heard by a bench of three High Court judges comprising justices George Odunga, Prof. Joel Ngugi and John Mativo.
Lawyers James Orengo, Paul Mwangi, Prof Ben Sihanya ,Jackson Awele, Celestine Opiyo and Ochieng Oginga are representing NASA while Kamau Karori and Milly Hodari are representing IEBC. Waweru Gatonye and Benson Muchiri are representing Al Ghurair.
Some observers say Ahmednasir and Ngatia will bolster the ‘weak’ IEBC legal team. IEBC and Jubilee are pushing for Al Ghurair to print the 2017 general elections ballot papers, a move NASA has opposed because of the relationship between Al Ghurair and Jubilee actors (NASA alleged that a brother to President Uhuru is the local agent of Al Ghurair).
Al Ghurair is also accused of its discredited past of printing excess ballot papers which have been used to rig at least two presidential elections in the African continent.