Raila intervenes in Miguna airport standoff, cops harass journalists

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Mar. 26, 2018

NASA leader Raila Odinga arrives at JKIA on Monday, March 26, 2018. /COURTESY
NASA leader Raila Odinga arrives at JKIA on Monday, March 26, 2018. /COURTESY

NASA leader Raila Odinga on Monday stepped in to have Miguna Miguna allowed into the country.

The Opposition chief went to JKIA after Immigration officials denied the lawyer entry for lack of Kenyan passport.

Miguna had arrived into the country from Canada where he was deported on February 6.

Immigration officials said the self-declared NRMKe general needed to apply for a tourist visa in order to be allowed into the country.

The stand-off lasted several hours since 2.30pm when Miguna’s plane touched down at the airport.

Raila arrived at around 10pm. The crowd attempted to push their way in but were blocked by security officers.

The lot, most of them Miguna’s supporters, wanted the immigration officials to open the door so that they are allowed in.

When interviewed earlier, Miguna spoke of his tours in London saying he spelled out NRM agenda in the areas he made a stop.

He said immigration officials wanted him to be taken back to Dubai as “an undocumented person.”

“They will have to kill me first,” he told journalists through the seals of the locked doors.

Businessman Jimi Wanjigi arrived at the airport minutes after 11pm and was blocked from entering the waiting bay.

He pleaded with the officers manning the gates to allow him saying he is ready to be arrested for showing solidarity with Miguna.

“Are they in custody? Arrest me so that I can be part of the team inside there…today is me, tomorrow will be your turn,” Wanjigi told the police.

Journalists covering the proceedings were roughed up by officers who were called in when the stand-off persisted late in the night.

A number of them sustained injuries during the commotion that ensued.

Citizen TV’s Stephen Letoo was seen writhing in pain, ostensibly after he was assaulted by an officer.

A battery of GSU officers dispersed the reporters and those who had streamed at the airport to receive the NRM general.

Lawyer James Orengo said Miguna had travelled in line with the court orders which directed the government and the relative authorities to allow the Opposition politician back.

“The Kenyan authorities should have validated Miguna’s passport as was directed by the court.”

Orengo said the excuses the government has given on the Miguna debacle was not founded on any law.

He said Miguna did not have his Canadian passport at the time he arrived into back.

The Siaya Senator said they were forced to intervene when the authorities sought to put Miguna back on a plane to Dubai.

“Uhuru and Ruto should be ashamed of themselves to allow police officers abuse the law.”

Raila left at around 11.30pm without addressing the press on the debacle.

Read: Miguna Miguna denied entry after refusing to apply for Kenyan visa

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