Tuesday, October 21, 2008



By Jerry Okungu
Nairobi, Kenya
October 21, 2008

The other week, lawyer Ahmednasir Abdulahi, former LSK chairman attacked the LSK for demanding Justice Gicheru’s indictment and rubbished Foreign Minister Moses Wetangula’s Foreign Policy. All these privileged articles in the Standard threw caution and civility to the wind. The sheer emotive outbursts were definitely over the top yet they were published for all Kenyans to read.

This week, the learned lawyer had another opportunity to pour vitriol and mud at Justice Philip Waki; and what was Waki’s crime against Ahmednasir to warrant such scathing attacks? It was because Waki happened to have produced a 500 page document on post election violence that traumatized Kenyans early this year.

What appeared to irk the lawyer were the contents of the report that appeared to have pinpointed the culprits of the mayhem- not ordinary Kenyans but the high and mighty that normally would be premium clients for the good lawyer.

Just listen to this: ” As a member of the legal team that appeared for two clients before the Commission of Inquiry into post election violence, I find the 529 page report the work of pseudo legal fiction and a poor one at that. What is amazing is the superficial surmise of the report, the doggy sources of the purported evidence relied on, the breath-taking disregard for due process and mendacity that drips from every line of report.”

Ahmednasir cannot be allowed to get away with this misguided arrogance and abuse of his privileged position as a columnist with a local newspaper and one of the many lawyers that appeared at the Waki Commission. There are a few things this pseudo intellectual must disclose to Kenyans to render this debate meaningful. He must tell Kenyans who his two clients were and why he appeared for them at the time he did! All Kenyans know is that Waki’s report has omitted the names of suspects into the 2007 post election fiasco. Their names are already in New York. Not even President Kibaki knows them.

Secondly, Ahmednasir was not the only learned lawyer to have appeared at the Commission on behalf of individuals. His decision to carry early defense submissions through the press smirks of indiscipline and scare mongering. You cannot start defending your clients of all places through the press, before they are charged in a court of law no matter how bright a lawyer you are!

Third, most intelligent Kenyans know where Ahmednasir is coming from. He has a personal vendetta with any lawyer or judge who happens to be smarter than him. He suffers from what we in the communication discipline call the Snob Appeal Syndrome(SAS).Victims of this syndrome suffer attacks at two opposite levels. They will aspire to be what they are not or have not attained until they attain it. If they don’t, they develop a phobia for those who have attained what has eluded his kind.

Many Kenyans know Justice Philip Waki from three levels; as a judge who was highly respected until his fellow judge Justice Ringera, Ahmednasir Abdulahi, Kiraitu Murungi and co. decided to tarnish his name along with others. When Waki was suspended from the bench pending the Akiwumi tribunal, Ahmednasir Abdulahi was one of the lawyers that celebrated. He was the LSK Chairman at the time. He was a true believer in Murungi’s surgery of the judiciary at the time. And for his efforts, he was appointed the Chairman of the Oversight Board of KACC that was to be headed by his bosom friend Justice Ringera! And who was instrumental in appointing Ahmednasir to Chair Ringera’s Board? Kiraitu Murungi!

The lawyer has the audacity to term Waki’s report a “pseudo legal fiction and a poor one at that”. May be he is right but one thing we do know; Abdulahi has no basis or intellectual capacity to decide for Kenyans what is pseudo legal fiction or not. Moreover, Kenyans have their yardstick of grading legal expats and intellectuals. Certainly Ahmednasir has his clientele that may adore him in private but in public ranking as a brilliant lawyer; he doesn’t exist.

He calls traumatized Kenyans who suffered pain, violent rapes, sodomy and even death “doggy sources of purported evidence”. I hope to God if the lawyer would debase these victims from Rift Valley, Nyanza, Central and Western Provinces if they happened to have come from North Eastern Province where his kinsmen live.
Ahmednasir continues to ridicule Waki by alleging that the report reads like “a well calculated act of legal skullduggery. And that it is a narrative clothed with a veneer of a national calling, but all too familiar, designed to settle scores, Kenyan style.”

Perhaps more than anything else that the lawyer has said in this article; this is the one paragraph that gives him away. It is the one paragraph that proves that the lawyer is an intellectual dwarf, full of himself and thinks very highly of himself at the expense of any other lawyer in this country. When he talks of an act of legal skullduggery, his mind races to see cheep revenge! Legal skullduggery, we remember only too well when he was the Narc cheer leader in the early days when Kiraitu and Ringera were on a mission to replace judges in the judiciary with their own men. For this reason, he thinks Philip Waki is out to seek cheap revenge for what they did to him in 2003.

Ahmednasir would have loved to sit at hearings that were held in camera purposely to protect witnesses in order to accept the report. He fools himself that the testimonies of such witnesses are only known to Commissioners to date. Yet that is precisely the point. Had Ahmednasir had a half a brain of a village farmer he would have waited for his two undisclosed clients to be charged in a court of law, a locally constituted tribunal or at The Hague then demand to interrogate the witnesses based on evidence gathered by the Waki Commission.

However the good lawyer has decided to rubbish the testimonies he was not privy to through the press!

In his conclusions, Ahmednasir Abdulahi is demanding the resignation of Waki from the Bench on the grounds that Waki has no faith in our judicial system simply because he recommended the setting up of a tribunal. On this score, I suspect that the good lawyer’s logic is in reverse gear.

It would appear like he is the only stranger in Jerusalem who still has faith in Kenya’s judicial system. He has forgotten that even Kenya’s Head of State had to look for Kriegler from South Africa to investigate election fraud. He has forgotten that for Kenyans to stop fighting, Kofi Annan, Graca Machel and Benjamin Mkapa had to be brought in. He has forgotten that the Waki Commission like the Kriegler Commission was the direct product of the National Accord now entrenched in our constitution.

If the good lawyer has gripes with Waki’s recommendation; it is because he wants to prove to his private clients that he is a sharp lawyer capable of derailing the trials. On this score, he is wide off the mark. Maligning Philip Waki will not stop River Nile from flowing in to the Red Sea.