Judge to rule on petition to strike out soldiers’ 1982 coup compensation case

 

Daily Nation | Published: Thursday, November 9, 2017

 

 

Soldiers patrol Nairobi streets after the failed coup d’état in 1982. The state has asked a court to dismiss a case in which nine former Kenya Air Force soldiers detained over the attempted coup have sued it seeking compensation. PHOTO | FILE | NATION MEDIA GROUP THURSDAY NOVEMBER 9 2017

 

By JOSEPH OPENDA

 

A Nakuru court will next week rule on a state application seeking the dismissal of a compensation case filed by nine former Kenya Air Force servicemen.

The Kenya Air Force servicemen want to be compensated for what they term as wrongful detention following the 1982 attempted coup d’état.

OBJECTION

Justice Stephen Radido, of the Employment and Labour Relations Court sitting in Nakuru, on Thursday directed the parties to appear before the court on November 17 for the ruling.

The state, in its objection filed through the Attorney General, said the court does not have the jurisdiction to hear the case.

In a notice of preliminary objection filed before the court, state counsel Mr Kiprotich Kirui said the state wants the court to strike out the petition as it was not filed in accordance with the law.

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He said the petition was filed in the wrong court, adding that the Employment Court had no jurisdiction to hear a torture case.

“The Armed Forces Act provides procedure to prosecution, however, these violations and allegations of torture didn’t happen in the context of employer-employee relations,” said Mr Kirui.

COUP

The nine petitioners through their lawyer Mr Ojwang’ Agina moved to court seeking to be compensated for what they termed as unlawful detention after they were suspected of participating in the failed 1982 coup d’état.

In their petition, they claimed that the state illegally arrested and detained them at Kamiti, Naivasha and Kodiaga prisons without proper trial.

Mr Agina argued that the Court Martial order was not followed during the arrest and the petitioners were still under the jurisdiction of Kenya Army, despite having been detained by the Kenya Riffles officers and handed over to Kenya Prisons officers.

“My clients were interrogated by the Kenya Army officers while in custody at Kenya Prisons so there was still an employee and employer relationship,” he said.

Mr Agina said that should the court fail to find jurisdiction to handle the matter, then the case should be transferred to the High Court.

 

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