Nairobi News

NewsWhat's Hot

Drama galore as Miguna resists deportation – VIDEO

The government has rejected lawyer Miguna Miguna’s return to the country and attempted to deport him again to Canada after a nine-hour standoff at Jomo Kenyatta International Airport.

But Mr Miguna refused to board the Dubai-bound Emirates flight, triggering probably the most dramatic scenes ever witnessed at airport in recent days.

“I am not going anywhere….where is my luggage? Where is my passport? You cannot take me from my country by force,” he remonstrated as the commotion delayed Flight EK 722 to Dubai.


So violent were the scenes that the pilot took off without Mr Miguna, who had disembarked and vowed to fight for his rights.

The late night drama was the culmination of a nine-hour standoff that started after Mr Miguna’s flight — EK 719 — touched down at 2.30pm.

The opposition activist had been forcefully whisked to the aircraft by a contingent of about 40 police officers in full view of ODM leader Raila Odinga and his lawyers John Khaminwa, Cliff Ombeta and Julie Soweto.

Hundreds of other officers laid siege at the airport and beat up journalists to scare them off from capturing the moment Mr Miguna was grabbed and literally carried to the aircraft that had been delayed.

“It is a shame that this kind of thing is happening in this country. The fact that we can have this kind of mobilisation at an international airport shows that we are a banana republic,” Siaya Senator James Orengo told the media before his press briefing was interrupted by the police.


Mr Orengo claimed that Miguna had been labelled an undocumented passenger after he failed to surrender his Canadian passport as immigration officials had demanded.

Mr Odinga did not speak to the media. He walked to his car and was driven away without uttering a word.

Earlier, his lawyers were working overtime to have Mr Miguna allowed into the country.

Mr Nelson Havi, one of Mr Miguna’s lawyers, told the Nation they would Tuesday morning ask the courts to order their client’s immediate readmission.

Mr Miguna refused to enter Kenya on a Canadian passport and a six-month visa, insisting he was not a foreigner. His lawyers agreed with him.

Under Kenyan law, one cannot enter the country without a valid travel document. Mr Miguna has, since his deportation last month, been travelling on a Canadian passport after his Kenyan one was invalidated in controversial circumstances over the role he played in the ‘swearing-in’ of former Prime Minister Raila Odinga as the ‘people’s president’ on January 30.

On Monday, lawyers were concerned that if the impasse persists, Mr Miguna could be deported again.


However, Mr Havi said Mr Miguna’s case was unusual as he was returning to the country on the strength of a court order which the government was legally bound to comply with.

The self-declared general of #Resist, a Nasa opposition initiative to boycott unfriendly products and services, told immigration officials to stamp his national identity card in the absence of his Kenyan passport. They declined the request.

A few hours later, he tried to forcefully enter the country, forcing security personnel at the airport to mobilise.

“Mr Miguna is being asked to surrender his Canadian passport,” lawyer Cliff Ombeta told the media at the airport. “He is also being asked to sign some papers so that he is issued with a six-month visa. We have rejected this and asked him not to sign the papers.”

Kenya National Commission on Human Rights vice chair George Morara on Monday night said the immigration department ought to have complied with the order in full to avoid “unnecessary” standoff.

Interior ministry spokesman Mwenda Njoka said Mr Miguna was not denied entry. “He declined to present his travel documents as required by the International Air Transport Association,” he said.