The Plumber & Other Funny Stories Discussed at the Supreme Court

  • Advocate Otieno Willis speaking at the Supreme Court of Kenya on Friday, September 2, 2022.
    Advocate Otieno Willis speaking at the Supreme Court of Kenya on Friday, September 2, 2022.
    Courtesy Judiciary
  • Despite the presidential petition hearing at the Supreme Court being characterised by high-octane lawyers who utilised every spare second to convince the judges, there were periodic moments where Kenyans were mesmerised by satirical analogies and hypotheses 

    From folk tales to Biblical citations and William Shakespeare's literary works, the advocates and senior counsels impressed the nation with their language mastery, diction and articulation. 

    "We never cited anyone for contempt. All we saw were very robust arguments and participation. We are most grateful for your cooperation," Chief Justice Martha Koome appreciated as the apex court adjourned until Monday, September 2 when the verdict will be issued. 

    Here are a few witty statements that cracked laughter in the courtroom and created a buzz online and across the country. 

    Chief Justice Martha Koome (left) consulting with Hon. Justice Mohammed Ibrahim during petition hearings at the Supreme court on August 31, 2022
    Chief Justice Martha Koome (left) consulting with Hon. Justice Mohammed Ibrahim during petition hearings at the Supreme court on August 31, 2022
    Judiciary

    Story of a Plumber in the Bathroom 

    Lawyer Willis Otieno gave Kenyans on social media a new catchphrase to discuss and create memes around. This time he was referring to IEBCcontracting Venezuelans and the accusations by lawyer Julie Soweto that one Jose Camargo infiltrated the system.

    Otieno likened the alleged actions by the Venezulanas to a plumber who is contracted to carry out sanitation renovations and later the owner of the bathroom finds them still locked inside the shower after completing their contracted duties. 

    "Once a plumber has fixed your bathroom, he has no business being in your bathroom when you are showering. If you find him at that time tell him 'Get behind me Satan' as Jesus said when the devil entered Peter," he stated adding that the plumber would have breached your privacy. 

    Barabbas and Jesus on the Cross

    Prof Kithure Kindiki likened the actions by Azimio La Umoja lawyers and their client to an attempt to benefit from the chaos at Bomas of Kenya when the presidential results were being announced.

    He stated that the first petitioner, Raila Odinga's supporters and agents were involved in the chaos and were yet to even record statements with the authorities.

    Kindiki termed the events at Bomas as nothing but an attempt to establish a government unconstitutionally contrary to Article 32.

    “This court should stop Barabbas from benefitting from his malfeasance.”

    "We submit that the mob that soiled our image, including the conductors of the orchestra, are shouting the loudest that we must release Barabbas. This court should stop Barrabas and his mob from benefiting from their own maleficient," Prof. Kindiki stated referring to the time Israelites championed the release of Barabbas a convict, and agitated for the crucifixion of Jesus. 

    Lawyer Willis Evans Otieno making his case in defense of Raila Odinga's presidential election petition at the Supreme Court
    Lawyer Willis Evans Otieno making his case in defense of Raila Odinga's presidential election petition at the Supreme Court
    Kenyans.co.ke

    The Alligator and the Sick Crocodile 

    Lawyer Willis Otieno asked the court not to doubt the four commissioners whom he claimed blew the whistle on the malpractices within the IEBC.

    Otieno urged the Supreme Court to take into account the statements and affidavits by the four commissioners and likened them to an alligator who lives in close proximity with crocodiles and hence knows the whereabouts of the reptile.

    "When an alligator comes out of the water and tells you the crocodile is sick, do you doubt him? When the four commissioners oppose the results, do you doubt them? Do not doubt them! Otieno pleaded.

    I Studied at Alliance

    Lawyer James Orengo, Senior Counsel left the internet ablaze after he reminded the court that he went to Alliance High School.

    It has been a long-running joke among Kenyans that people who studied at Alliance High School like to remind their peers in the job sector of their alma mater.

    "In law, the oration is not good enough. Substance matters. Also, speeches do not belong to courtrooms. They should be played in the theatre where those who love poetry like my friend and former schoolmate in Alliance High School, Prof Githu Muigai are," stated Orengo.

    Inki Pinki Ponki

    Lawyer Willis Otieno referred to the said game, which he told the court that his niece plays, to underscore how the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission chairperson, Wafula Chebukati allegedly made the announcement on a whim without verifying the results. 

    "We've reduced our elections to my childhood games of 'picky pinky ponky, paka mielo disco," he stated.

    Inki Pinki Ponki is a famous children's song and nursery rhyme. 

    Senior Counsel Philip Murgor and James Orengo at the Supreme Court on Tuesday, August 31, 2022..jpg
    Senior Counsels Philip Murgor and James Orengo at the Supreme Court on Tuesday, August 31, 2022..jpg
    The Judiciary

    Shakespeare's Macbeth 

    Lawyer Muthomi Thiankolu quoted Macbeth and William Shakespeare's literary works to disparage whistleblower John Mark Githongo's affidavit.

    He also posed a question on who to believe and accused Githongo of producing forged logs.

    "The petitioner claimed that Ruto was able to intercept 11,000 forms in eight minutes and altered them. It is in the realm of fiction.

    "I am struggling to understand how this fraudster with a laptop intercepted results in the full glare of cameras and agents," Thiankolu stated.

    Justice Smokin Wanjala's Solomonic Wisdom 

    There was a light moment when Justice Smokin Wanjala put lawyer Kioko Kilukumi to task on his scripture reference to King Solomon’s decision on a case where two women claimed ownership of a newborn baby.

    "In King Solomon's story, one of the mother claimants was saying 'cut the baby'. The other one said 'no, let her take the baby'. Would you be willing to advise...? I rest my case," Justice Wanjala stated amid laughter in the courtroom.

    Wanjala seemingly asked lawyer Kilukumi if he was willing to advise his client, President-elect, to relinquish his victory in favour of his challenger, Raila Odinga. 

    Hon. Justice Lenaola Njagi (left) giving orders as Hon. Justice Smokin Wanjala (right) watches on at the Supreme court on August 31, 2022
    Hon. Justice Lenaola Njagi (left) giving orders as Hon. Justice Smokin Wanjala (right) watches on at the Supreme court on August 31, 2022
    Judiciary