Malindi MP slapped with Sh22.6m in election petition costs

Aisha Jumwa

Former Malindi MP Aisha Jumwa.

Photo credit: File | Nation Media Group

A law firm wants Sh22.6 million from Malindi MP Aisha Jumwa for representing her in an election petition.

Aoko Otieno & Associates has detailed the costs in an application filed in the Malindi High Court.

“Take notice that the bill of costs dated August 4 2021 lodged in the High Court by the applicant (Aoko Otieno Associates) will be taxed on October 5, 2021,” said part of the notice of taxation signed by the deputy registrar of the Malindi High Court.

After a case is concluded, a lawyer usually prepares an advocate/client bill of costs in the form of an application detailing charges for services offered, usually when a client is reluctant to pay the agreed legal fees.

The application is presented to a taxing officer ( deputy registrar of the High Court), who assesses the costs before writing a ruling on what the lawyer is entitled to be paid.

Once a ruling is made, the lawyer can enforce it by legal means to recover the money, such as attaching the client’s property.

In December 2017, the High Court struck out a petition by Ernest Hinzano challenging Ms Jumwa’s victory, saying it was filed too late.

Justice Patrick Otieno ruled that Mr Hinzano did not follow the right procedure under the law, swapping an unserved original petition with one that was before the court.

“The petition I am called upon to consider was improperly brought before court and is to that extent invalid, null and void,” Justice Otieno said, adding that the petition did not merit the court’s attention.

The court noted that the original petition that was properly filed on time was never served and could only be deemed to have been withdrawn or abandoned even if it was never removed from the court file.

It added that the petition that was served was not validly filed because court fees had not been paid and relevant records entered in the Register of Petitions.

The judge ordered the petitioner to pay costs of Sh2.5 million to Ms Jumwa and the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission constituency returning officer.