There was drama at Kakamega Law Courts last week after a magistrate ordered that a lawyer be held in a cell to sober up after appearing in court drunk.
Interestingly, the lawyer was representing a client who had been charged with being drunk and disorderly.
Trouble started when the lawyer tried to stay on his feet but the ground seemed to shift from under him.
He could barely also hold court files in his hands and remained leaning on the bar speechless as the court waited for his submissions. On sensing the learned friend was drunk and could hardly speak eloquently, the magistrate asked him to produce his practising license.
“You are in contempt of court for addressing the court while drunk,” said the magistrate, adding that she would not tolerate the behaviour.
“See, he equally represents, a drunk and disorderly suspect.”
The lawyer went after the magistrate, accusing her of “taking the issue into a personal level”.
Unbowed, the magistrate directed court orderlies to arrest the lawyer and lock him in cells within the court precincts.
The magistrate further directed his colleagues to inform the lawyer never to appear before her unless he produces a practising certificate.
The orders were, however, short-lived as the magistrate ordered that he be released after other lawyers demanded that their colleague be released.