Kenyan authorities late on Tuesday deported opposition supporter and lawyer, Miguna Miguna (pictured), using his Canadian citizenship to fly him to that country just hours after the high court ruled that police release him immediately.
The government is under pressure now as a high court judge has asked them to explain why they kicked the lawyer out of the country without following the due process of law.
Police arrested Miguna for his role in the mock swearing-in of opposition leader Raila Odinga as “the people’s president” at Uhuru Park on January 30.
The government says Miguna has renounced his Kenyan nationality which he denies.
President Uhuru Kenyatta’s government stopped all TV stations from broadcasting Odinga’s swearing-in ceremony which it viewed as an act of treason.
After the brief ceremony, Miguna said he was the one who signed the oath. On February 2, police arrested him from his home.
According to Miguna, he was detained for five days under the “most horrendous, cruel and inhumane conditions imaginable”.
On Tuesday, he appeared before a court outside Nairobi and was charged with “being present and consenting to the administration of an oath to commit a capital offence, namely treason”.
The court had ordered that Miguna be bailed following his hearing, but this did not happen. He was put on a flight to Amsterdam from where he was due to connect to Canada.
The government has to explain now under what law Miguna was deported. Under Article 17 of the Kenyan Constitution, individuals born in Kenya can only have their citizenship revoked if it was acquired by fraud, if they or their parents were already a citizen of another country, or if the person was older than eight when they were found in Kenya.
High Court judge Luka Kimaru has asked the Director of Immigration Gordon Kihalagwa to swear and file affidavits explaining the circumstances under which Miguna was deported.
The judge said the senior government officer should explain how he took custody of Miguna when he knew that there were clear instructions requiring the lawyer to be produced in the high court.
The judge also ordered the IG and DCI to swear affidavits and also personally appear in court on February 14 to show cause on why they should not be punished for disobeying the court.