EXPOSED: The Law Firm Of Tom Ojienda & Associates Was Paid Ksh. 20m By Nairobi City County Without Budgetary Provision

The Payment to law firms that had rendered legal services to Nairobi City County remains a hot potato, not only for the current governor but even his predecessors. Governor Sakaja is said to have inherited over Ksh. 21 billion in pending bills as of January 2023. 

Although there are been queries over the modality used to identify which law firms to be paid first, available information reveals that the law firm of Tom Ojienda and Associates was paid Ksh. 20 million on February 14, 2023, without any budgetary provision. The county, on March 15, 2023, also proposed to the court that the same law firm would be paid a balance of Ksh. 133,202,739.72 at a later date in compliance with the court orders of February 14, 2023.

Mr. Ojienda had sued the County Secretary, Nairobi City County, as the 1st respondent and the Chief Officer, Finance/County Treasurer, Nairobi City County, as the 2nd respondent. According to court papers seen by The Weekly Vision.

On April 19, 2023, Ms. Asha Abdi, the Chief Officer of Finance, testified before the court and informed the court that the county did not have money. Secondly, she explained to the court the constraints she had after taking over the office on January 13, 2023.

The Court is satisfied with the explanation issued, inter alia, specifically directive no. 3, as follows: Ms Asha Abdi shall furnish the Court and the decree-holder with a copy of the draft budget within seven (7) days of that date.

It was confirmed on May 19, 2023, that Ms. Asha Abdi complied with the directive on April 27, 2023, in a letter addressed to Tom Ojienda and Associates and copied to the Court. The proposed budget for the Legal Department is a sum of Kshs 700,000,000.00, and the applicant is listed as Number 6 on Nairobi City County’s Legal Department’s List of Priorities, which contains the sum of Kshs 133,202,739.72.

Further, Ms. Asha Abdi testified that the County Assembly is required to approve the budget estimates by June 30, 2023. This Honorable Court equally takes judicial notice of this position on budget circles by the counties and the national governments.

In a ruling by Judge John Chigiti dated July 21, 2023, the judge gave the following orders: “The Respondents shall cause the payment of the sum of Ksh. 133,202,739.72 on or before August 30, 2023. 2. In the event the Ksh. 133,202,739.72 is not paid on or before August 30, 2023, then the court shall proceed to sentence the contemnor. 3. The matter will be mentioned on October 4, 2023, to report compliance or for purposes of sentencing”.