High Court suspends payment of over 800 million to city law firm



High Court has suspended execution of an order compelling Nairobi County government to pay over 847 million to a city law firm.

Justice Pauline Nyamweya suspended the payment of Sh 847,887,435.97 to Samson Masaba Munikah T/A Munikah & Advocates.
According to the firm, the amount is the decretal sum in respect of High Court miscellaneous Civil Application No. 247 of 2011.

The orders were however issued temporarily pending the inter-parties hearing of the motion on 9th April.

Justice Nyamweya also suspended payments of Sh 9,756,512.96 accrued interests on the decretal sum as at 29th July, 2016.

The court had in February this year issued the order directing the Nairobi count secretary and the chief finance to pay the law firm the above amount.

While issuing the order, Justice John Mativo ruled that the firm had made a successful application.

In their petition, Samson Masaba Munikah T/A Munikah & Advocates claimed that they were duly instructed by the defunct city council of Nairobi in RMCC No. 2,2003, Nairobi (city council vs The Attorney General) for the commissioner of lands and advocate/client bill of costs was filed and allowed by consent.

Through Lawyer Thomas Letangule , the county argued the firm is in the process of executing against Nairobi County County the payment of a colossal amount of money which the county government has now discovered was a result of fraud.

The court heard that it was a collusion to inflate legal fee through double taxation of costs done in the same matter where the respondent did not disclose to the court that another taxation had been done earlier in the same matter, RMCC (CITY COURT) No. 2 of 2003 and the respondent awarded Sh 60,712,373 vide miscellaneous application 884 of 2006.

The firm is alleged to have been paid in excess of the taxed amount, having received Sh 65,000,000 from the applicant (Nairobi County).

He said despite the payment, the respondent has obtained orders from court based on a second certificate of taxation that was wrongly issued out of fraud and collusion in the same matter RMCC No. 2 of 2003.

According to the county, the legal fee was awarded wrongly and that the deputy registrar erred in law and principle by granting two certificates of taxation in respect of the same matter resulting in an oppressive amount that has now threatened the financial stability and functioning of the County Government in its provision of public services.

Letangule said the county government has unearthed a scheme that was used to loot public resources through fraud and collusion to inflate legal fees in an unprecedented theft of public funds and has therefore instituted a reference to set aside manifestly excessive amount that was awarded as legal fee owing to application of wrong principles by the taxing officer and fraud on the part of parties involved.