Chief Justice Martha Koome has voiced her displeasure with a group of leading lawyers in the country for their views on the BBI’s Supreme Court appeal.
Such remarks, according to Koome, may tarnish the court’s image.
“In the course of writing this judgment, the court observed with concern some commentaries carried out in the social media by some counsel, some of whom are appearing in this matter,” Koome said.
Ahmednasir Mohamed, Nelson Havi, and Esther Ang’awa are among the lawyers she singled out.
She commented just before the Court handed down its decision on the BBI appeal on Thursday.
The contents of the social media posts, she argued, were meant to influence, frighten, or scandalize the court.
“This unfortunate practice is emerging and unless it is checked, it will erode the confidence and the dignity of the court,” Koome said.
Any such remarks, she warned, will be considered professional misconduct, particularly on the part of the counsel participating in the case.
The injunction, according to Koome, also applies to non-involved lawyers who are aware that they are not permitted to speak on matters before the court.
“It is a well established practice that counsel should refrain from directly or indirectly trying to improperly influence the court to rule in one way or the other,” Koome said.
She echoed Justice Smokin Wanjala’s sentiments, who said that certain lawyers have used intimidation tactics to persuade the court to rule in their favor.
The court in a majority judgment, affirmed that the process to amend the constitution through the Building Bridges Initiative (BBI) was illegal.
The judges found, that the purported popular initiative was initiated by President Uhuru Kenyatta and not the common mwananchi ‘wanjiku’. The court held that a popular initiative is a preserve of the people and not their representatives. Justices Lenaola and Ndung’u dissented.
BBI is a product of the March 9, 2018, political truce between President Kenyatta and opposition leader Raila Odinga, popularly known as the handshake.