Retired CJ Maraga sues lawyer Ahmednasir over tweet on alleged Ksh.200M bribe


Retired CJ Maraga sues lawyer Ahmednasir over tweet on alleged Ksh.200M bribe
A side by side image of Retired Chief Justice David Maraga and Nairobi lawyer Ahmednasir Abdullahi. PHOTO| COURTESY

Retired Chief Justice David Maraga has sued Nairobi lawyer Ahmednasir Abdullahi over what he terms as defamatory sentiments published by on twitter on the day of his retirement, January 12, 2021.

Abduallhi’s tweet claimed that Maraga and himself were aware of a Supreme Court Judge who had received a bribe of more Ksh.200 million over unspecified favors.

Maraga in his suit papers quotes the tweet as “If CJ Maraga is a decent and honest Kenyan, he should come clean on the issue of the SENIOR judge of the SUPREME COURT who took Ksh.220 million BRIBE. Me and CJ Maraga know the judge…intelligent Kenyans must read A LOT on Maraga’s astute silence on this matter!”

That tweet has been retweeted more than 300 times, liked more than 2,500 times and received more than 560 comments since that day. It is on the basis of this that Maraga through his lawyers TRIPLEOK LAW LLP wrote to the senior counsel on the 26th of January, requiring him to retract and offer an apology on twitter or face legal action. It’d appear that Ahmednasir ignored the call for apology pushing Maraga to the suit.

The former CJ claims that the tweet implied that he is not a decent or honest Kenyan. That he was aware of the alleged bribery by a supreme court judge, that he had committed an offence for failing to disclose the matter.

Maraga, in his suit, says that the tweet implied that together with Lawyer Ahmednasir, they concealed the identity of the said corrupt judge, that he presided over an inept and corrupt judiciary as the head of the judiciary and president of the Supreme Court of Kenya.

Maraga saying that the tweet implied that he had been shielding corrupt judges and therefore violated his oath of office, the judiciary code of conduct and the chapter on integrity of public officers.

“The words were false and tinged with malice and presented as the absolute truth designed and clearly intended to disparage, belittle and injure (Maraga’s) character & reputation as a retired CJ,” reads the court documents.

Maraga adds that “The tweet was both reckless and malicious in the extreme and was designed and intended to inflict maximum repetitional damage of the plaintiff.”

And while Ahmednasir in the tweet claimed shared knowledge with the CJ over the alleged corrupt judge, Maraga says “(he) did not lodge any complaint with the relevant authorities or initiate proceeding for the removal of the Supreme Court Judge as per law”.

In his affidavit, Maraga tells the court that he has received questions from his family, friends and church regarding the alleged bribe and that they now doubt his stand and reputation as a man of high moral fortitude and integrity. That this now has put his character in great disrepute attracting public hatred, ridicule and contempt.

Maraga now wants the high court to order that the tweet is false, defamatory, libellous and malicious as well as order Abdulllahi to publish a public apology with the same prominence on his twitter handle and two dailies, Daily Nation and the Standard.

He also wants the lawyer ordered to retract, delete and pull down the tweet. He wants the senior counsel restrained from further defamatory posts about him.

Upon such a finding, Maraga wants the court to award him general damages for libel, exemplary damages for defamation, aggravated damages for the same among others. Lawyer Ahmednasir is yet to file a formal response but he has taken to twitter to further his assertions about the controversial tweet.

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