The Law Society of Kenya (LSK) is threatening to bar three top officials at the State Law Office from future legal practice over their role in proceedings that saw Kenya pay Sh1.4 billion to two Anglo Leasing firms.
LSK’s national governing council has written to Attorney General Githu Muigai, Solicitor General Njee Muturi and Deputy Solicitor-General Muthoni Kimani asking them to show why they should not be served with certificates of dishonour.
A certificate of dishonour is issued by a professional body to its members that hold public offices in cases where it deems they have violated laid down ethics and standards in the discharge of their duties.
“We shall appreciate to receive your response within seven days of receipt of the letter. In default, the council will make determination without further reference to you,” the LSK Council says in the letters to the three officials.
An officer served with such a certificate cannot represent the country in cases before international courts. Later when they retire from public offices, such officers will also be blocked from obtaining practising certificate to set up private law firms.
Among other charges, the LSK council has taken issue with Prof Muigai’s legal opinion that urged the government to release money to the Anglo Leasing firms on grounds that Kenya had exhausted all its legal options.
“Kenya did not lose the cases. It agreed to pay despite the fact that it had and still has an option to appeal the cases,” LSK chairman Eric Mutua said on Thursday.
Mr Muturi on the other hand is accused of appearing before a London Court without a licence to practise in England and Wales. This, the LSK council says, meant that Kenya had no legal representation in the proceedings.
Ms Kimani is accused of advising government advocates not to pursue bribery and corruption cases in relation to the Anglo Leasing projects despite the fact that contract documents were obtained irregularly.
If the LSK Council makes good its threat, Kenya will be third country in the region to have gone the direction after Uganda and Zambia.
On Monday, the Treasury, acting on President Uhuru Kenyatta’s directive and the State Law Ofice’s advice, released the payment to First Mercantile Securities Corporation and Universal Satspace.
The two firms are owned by Irish businessman Anura Perera.