Deported opposition figure Miguna Miguna returned to Canada Monday on the Canadian passport that he had earlier claimed was missing.
The lawyer admitted that he refused to hand over his Canadian passport to immigration officers at Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (JKIA) on March 26 when he arrived, triggering a standoff.
“I refused to hand over my Canadian passport to the tyrants in Kenya because I arrived in Kenya on March 26 as a Kenyan born citizen,” said Miguna yesterday from Ontario, Canada, in a statement.
According to court papers, his lawyers had told the High Court that his travel document had been unlawfully seized by the State upon his arrival at JKIA.
“Furthermore, the respondents (State officers) have unlawfully seized the petitioner’s (Miguna) Canadian passport in a clear attempt to have him declared stateless,” say documents filed in court on March 27.
In the initial attempt to deport him via Dubai on March 27, Miguna was captured shouting from the entrance of an Emirates airline that he would not board without his passport.
“I am not going anywhere… where is my luggage? Where is my passport? You cannot take me from my country by force,” he shouted.
But the self-declared general of the National Resistance Movement (NRM) yesterday said the issue was not about how he travelled back to Canada but his illegal deportation by the Government.
“I have been advised of reports in sections of the media outlining that I've used my Canadian passport to travel. The issue here is not how I have travelled to get medical treatment or on what passport. The issue here is my abduction, assault, drugging, and forceful removal by a rogue regime in defiance of more than 10 court orders,” he charged.
Earlier yesterday, there were conflicting reports about the document he used to travel, with his lawyer Nelson Havi saying the Canadian consulate in Dubai had facilitated the flight.
But some Government sources said he had used his Canadian passport.
The Government source said Miguna had rejected the assistance of Kenyan embassy officials in Dubai to fulfil requirements for dual citizenship and Canadian consulate officials to file for temporary travel documents to enable him to travel to Nairobi.
The Standard unsuccessfully sought to get information from the Dubai immigration authorities. There was no response to email inquiries and phone calls.
“Miguna Miguna has, out of his own volition and with the assistance of the Canadian consulate in UAE, travelled to and arrived in Toronto, Canada. He will undergo toxicology tests and treatment for the chemicals used to sedate and poison him. He will return thereafter,” said Havi.
The director of digital communication in the Office of the President, Dennis Itumbi, claimed that UAE, through the Canadian consulate, gave Miguna two options - either produce his Canadian passport or risk being jailed.
Miguna was alleged to have organised to get the document before he was facilitated to travel to Canada.
In claims that we could not independently verify, Mr Itumbi said the lawyer would be required to fill relevant travel documents with the Kenyan High Commissioner in Canada before he can take a flight back to Kenya.
Yesterday’s flight ended a seven-day standoff that began at Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (JKIA) before moving to Dubai International Airport, where Miguna has been camping after being denied entry into Kenya.
Miguna has vowed to return to Kenya after treatment in Canada.
"After medical treatment, I intend to immediately return to Kenya and to continue the struggle for a better and just society,” he declared.
Born in Nyando, Kisumu County, Miguna is a dual citizen of Canada and Kenya.
The Kenyan authorities have, however, insisted that he lost his citizenship in 1998 when he acquired a Canadian passport.
The High Court ordered that he be facilitated to return to the country, ruling that his deportation to Canada in February was illegal.
He returned on March 26, leading to a three-day standoff at JKIA, before he was put on a flight to Dubai.