The office of the Attorney General is set to file an appeal against a High Court judgement that awarded former Youth and Gender Affairs Principal Secretary Lilian Omollo one shilling for wrongful dismissal.
Justice Stephen Radido of the Employment and Labour Relations Court had last month ruled that Ms Omollo’s removal from office was unconstitutional and ordered the government to pay her a nominal Ksh1 for breach of her rights.
Nominal damages are awarded when the plaintiff is legally in the right but has not suffered substantial losses.
But in a notice dated October 21 the office of the Attorney-General informed the court that it was dissatisfied with the ruling.
“Take notice that the respondents (AG and CS Public Service) herein being dissatisfied with the decision and /or orders of Justice Stephen Radido given in Nairobi on October 21, 2020 via Microsoft teams, intends to appeal to the Court of Appeal against the whole of the decision and /or orders,” the notice reads.
AG Paul Kihara Kariuki further sent a letter to the court requesting to be given certified and typed proceedings plus judgment to allow the filing of the appeal.
In the verdict being challenged, Justice Radido had ruled that civil servants have a legitimate expectation that being public officers, due process as envisaged under Article 236 of the Constitution would be observed in the process of their removal from the government payroll.
“The petitioner was not subjected to due process, nor was she given reasons for the removal from office under the hand of the President. She was ingeniously notified that her tenure had ended because a replacement had been appointed,” Justice Radido ruled.
The Judge pointed out that the former PS, who is charged with graft, was found to have unexplained wealth, hence the amount awarded was adequate compensation for the violation of her rights.
Ms Omollo was sacked by President Uhuru Kenyatta in July 2018 after she was charged over the alleged loss of Ksh9 billion at National Youth Service (NYS).
In a mini reshuffle that affected the Cabinet, Chief Administrative Secretaries and Permanent Secretaries, the President appointed Francis Otieno Owino as Ms Omollo’s replacement.
Aggrieved, Ms Omollo sued the government through the Cabinet Secretary for Ministry of Public Service and Gender arguing that she was still presumed innocent and was entitled to half-pay, as the corruption case proceeds before a magistrate.
In April this year, High Court Judge Mumbi Ngugi ruled that Ksh33 million held in Ms Omollo and her three daughters bank accounts and entities run by her husband were proceeds of crime and therefore liable for forfeiture to the state.
The ex-PS has already filed an appeal against the ruling.