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New twist as Miguna is sued by Raila's PA

COUNTIES
By Judy Ogutu | July 17th 2012

By Judy Ogutu

Chief of Staff at the Office of the Prime Minister, Mr Caroli Omondi and Mr Miguna Miguna are headed for a legal battle over alleged defamation.

Omondi has instructed his lawyer, Mr George Oraro to file a case against Miguna,a former advisor to Prime Minister Raila Odinga and the Daily Nation, which is serializing the book-Peeling the Mask: A quest for justice in Kenya

The move comes just a few days after Miguna dared anybody he has mentioned in his book to challenge the contents in court.

While addressing journalists during the launch of the book, Miguna reportedly said the contents of the book “were just a tip of the iceberg.”

“I am daring the people who are accusing me of libel to come forward and present their case. I will not hire a lawyer. I will present myself,” he said.

Miguna was sacked as an advisor of the Prime Minister.

He went to court seeking to overturn his suspension but it was rejected by Justice Mohamed Warsame.

"He is a man who exhibits mental and emotional fits in his defence of issues and principles which adhere to him.

At the time when he was in good books with the Prime Minister, he came across as the son and heart of the PM,” Judge Warsame had ruled.

On Monday, while instructing his lawyer, Omondi claimed Miguna has defamed him and that publication of the alleged defamatory matter is not privileged.
“The concerned persons acted in bad faith in publishing the defamatory material without having taken reasonable care to ascertain whether or not the allegations were true or false,” he said in the letter to his lawyer.

According to him, the defamatory matter published were not expression of opinion made in good faith “but averments of false facts punctuated by malice, ill-will and intended to injure my reputation.”

He claims Miguna, the publisher of the book and the Daily Nation unlawfully published the defamatory matter concerning his person while they knew the allegations were untrue and intended to defame him.

Omondi has also instructed Oraro to act for him in compiling a brief to Director of Public Prosecution (DPP), Media Council and Police with respect to the alleged defamatory matter and subsequent serialization
of the book by Daily Nation.

He has asked his lawyer to conduct an official search of the records of the Registrar of Titles and Registrar of Companies to determine the ownership of the land and the hotel business on the premises known as Heron Court Hotel situated along Nairobi’s Milimani Road in Nairobi.

“Please write directly to the directors of the hotel requesting for their written confirmation about the identity of all individual beneficial owners of the said hotel,” he instructed.

In addition, he wants Oraro to write to the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission (EACC) requesting for a certified copy of their report on investigations of subsidized maize importation together with a copy of the Kenya Gazette Notice published by the commission in respect to the investigations.

Omondi is further seeking for a certified copy of a letter from the Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA) Director General confirming that the consignment of the disputed maize cargo imported by the National Cereals and Produce Board (NCPB) in 2008 from South Africa and loaded at Maputo Port was kept by KRA in their bonded warehouse.

The letter will also confirm that the maize was never released for public consumption but was instead re-exported out of the country, he says.

The Chief of Staff has also requested his advocate to write to Central Bank of Kenya (CBK) with a request for their written opinion on the total weight and dimensions of Sh54million in cash in Sh1000 notes.

In addition, the lawyer will also write to Bavaria Motors with a request for a technical report on the boot size and maximum weight possible for loading therein with respect to BMW 318i Series.

“The brief will form a basis for filing criminal complaints with the police and Media Council against Miguna, his publishers and individual members of the editorial board of the Daily Nation newspapers as appropriate,” he adds.

A copy of the brief will be presented to the DPP with a request that criminal proceedings be undertaken against the named persons.

Meanwhile PM’s office issued a statement asking Miguna to report international crimes he alleges in his book to the relevant authorities concerned.

A statement sent by PM’s Spokesman Dennis Onyango dismissed Miguna's book as a collection of unsubstantiated claims about corruption without any evidence put forward.

Raila’s statement:

Below are the excerpts of the statement sent by the PM’s office:

"Kenyans have been treated for quite some time to all sorts of demonization and unfounded allegations against the Prime Minister, as part of a desperate campaign by his political opponents to undercut his undisputed popularity and prevent his coming to power.”

The opponents fear that his commitment to reform would seriously challenge impunity as well as their long hold on power. These anti-reformers have quite brazenly announced their commitment to the status quo by declaring their common goal is "Anyone but Raila."

As part of this campaign, Mr. Miguna Miguna's new book recycles past unsubstantiated allegations all these corruption calumnies against the Prime Minister, without offering a shred of evidence that could shed any new light.

His allegations do not deserve a response, and should be treated with contempt. If there was any evidence to back up the campaign against Mr. Odinga, his opponents- many of them powerful figures, unlike Mr. Miguna - would have long ago produced such proof to scuttle his presidential campaign.

But Mr. Miguna went one step beyond regurgitating these falsehoods in his book, and announced that he had evidence that implicates the Prime Minister in post-election violence, whose suspected architects are being prosecuted by the International Criminal Court.

Mr. Miguna uses possession of this evidence to threaten and blackmail those who might seek to challenge him, telling them they should "kiss his feet" if they do not want him to reveal all.

Mr. Miguna's withholding such vital information from the authorities on a subject of such grave concern for Kenyans is a disservice to the nation and a further boon to entrenching impunity.

No less important, withholding evidence of a major felony, leave alone of mass murder which rose to the level of international crimes, is a violation of the laws of Kenya. Such silence is considered as abetting the original crime.

Mr. Miguna, while claiming to be motivated only by the highest moral and ethical principles, is in fact obstructing justice in a case of immense national importance.

We know from Mr. Miguna's own assertions that he took no action to expose or report to the authorities the corrupt criminality he claims he saw in the Prime Minister's Office.

Nor did he try to preserve his integrity by resigning, choosing to become the "whistleblower" AFTER he was suspended.

Kenyans must demand that Mr. Miguna back up his latest assertion that he has evidence concerning mass violence by disclosing what he knows.

 

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