A Nairobi court has been requested to set aside a hefty payment of Ksh17.5 million to lawyer Donald Kipkorir for a one day service he rendered to the Baringo County Government.

The county’s lawyer, Gordon Ogolla says lawyers who previously handled the matter deliberately messed up the case file leading to the eventual crisis at hand.

“The applicant is enjoined to protect public funds which its is held accountable for…the proceedings were on the wrong footing, and the applicant would he held responsible for lack of jurisprudence in the use of public resources,” Ogolla told justice John Mativo during submissions seeking to block the payment.

Deliberately messed it up

Ogolla disclosed that the lawyer has already been paid Ksh 4 million.

He explained that the lawyers who had handled the file deliberately messed it up leading to the current state.

The judge concurred but is yet to make a final ruling on the matter.

Ogolla said the lead-up to events of  the taxation of bills costs entered on 8 June 2017 was erroneously filed and asked the court to “enlarge time” so that the wrong could be righted for  justice’s sake.

“The gist is that after the ruling of June 8 2017, the applicant filed Chamber Summons and sought prayers that the bill of costs be placed before a judge for review and possible be set aside,” Ogolla said.

He said that in filling the application for review, “the advocate was of the misapprehension that he was filing a reference against the decision of the taxing officer…”

Ogolla explained that a mistake occurred when the issues were then wrongly addressed hence birthing an ugly animal in the ambit of the advocates’ practice rules.

He pleaded with the court “in the interest of justice” to accord the county one more chance “within which to correct the wrong.”

Professional negligence

On the other hand Kipkorir objects stating adamantly that the “rules of procedure are mandatory.”

“Are they trying to unmake the law?”he posed.

He said the taxation law was clear regarding the advocates’ remuneration order.

“Once a taxing officer has given a ruling on bill of costs, aggrieved parties may go on appeal only on leave of a judge,” he explained.

He said parties had accepted there was a proper  reference placed before the judge leading to the state of affairs as they are!

In reply to claims that previous lawyers mishandled the file, Kipkorir submitted that the county may “peruse the course of professional negligence” and not to involve the court for a remedy.

He said he has been in court 17 times on this very matter.

Show cause why

Kipkorir in a separate file but on the same subject  is now asking the court to compel the county to cough up the money.

He says the county is in default and wants it summoned to show cause why it cannot be committed to civil jail.

Ogolla responded that the county has not yet exhibited actual or implied refusal to part with the money as “parties are still litigating in court over the actual amount.”

He said that whereas Kipkorir is pursuing an order of mandamus against for the Ksh17.5 million by his own letter he acknowledges having agreed to receiving Ksh4 million.

“The applicant is misleading the court as he is not considering the amount that has already been paid,” Ogolla said.

Appearance only once

But Kipkoris said the Ksh4 million was paid before the onset of the suit.

A ruling will be  made on July 24 2018.

The matter arises from the boundary dispute between Baringo and Turkana counties and did not proceed to a full hearing and a logical conclusion.

Kipkorir is to have made an appearance only one.