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Murugi: Petitioner’s lawyer is incompetent

22 July 2013, 17:19 Wangui Joseph

The lawyer representing Nyeri town polls petitioner does not have a law practicing certificate as required by the law, area MP Esther Murugi has told High Court.

Douglas Oweto Ombongi is representing Wilson Nginga Kimotho in a suit challenging Murugi’s election as Nyeri town MP.

Appearing before Justice Jairus Ngaah, the MP through her lawyer Wahome Gikonyo said Ombongi did not have the Law Society of Kenya (LSK) certificate when he was filing the petition in April.

Gikonyo said Ombongi got his Certificate of practice in 2004 and had not renewed it when he was filing the petition on April 10, 2013.
Gikonyo further told court that Ombongi drew and filed the petition which is not a lawyer’s obligation according to Section 34 of the Elections and Parliamentary Act.

“Section 34 states that an advocate should not take instructions, draw or prepare any document or instrument relating to legal proceedings,” said Wahome noting that in regard to the suit, Ombongi drew, prepared, filed and took instructions from the petitioner as it can be observed in the affidavits signed by his Law Firm (Gori Ombongi advocates).

He however said that Ombongi renewed the certificate early this month.

The MP therefore sought the dismissal of the petition arguing that Ombongi was unqualified to represent anyone in any legal suit since he did not have the required credentials from LSK.

However, Ombongi told he court that one must not be a duly qualified advocate as provided in the Advocates Act and pleaded with court to disregard the application and let the petition move to full trial.

He added that the court is given discretion to get independent findings by the constitution.

 “A petition is a matter of public interest unlike other litigations. I urge the court to disregard the application of striking out the petition on basis of technicalities,” Ombongi said in response.

The judge said he will issue the ruling on the application on August 9.

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