It was also noted that Signature Tours and Travel Ltd only learnt about the judgment later and were not able to reach Orengo to find out what transpired in the matter and the circumstances under which the judgment was entered. In an affidavit, they stated they are aware that, “J.A.B Orengo went for campaigns and was elected as Governor of Siaya County and that may explain why he was not actively in the office”
Senior Council James Orengo who is also the Siaya County Governor is at loggerheads with a travel and tour company, Signature Tours and Travel Ltd after the firm lost a case against Kenya Commercial Bank. According to available information, Signature Tours and Travel Ltd claim that they suspect foul play by Mr Orengo claiming that he may have been persuaded not to appear in court by the bank. According to Koome Munene and Alfetta Waruiru Mungai, the governor failed to appear in court to defend them yet he had been paid as per the agreement between the two parties.
After their appeal was dismissed on 29th March 2023 by High Court Judge Majanja at the Milimani Commercial Court (CASE E413 OF 2018), they are now demanding that Mr Orengo’s law firm refund what had been paid considering that he never appear in court to defend them yet he had been paid.
According to information available from the court, Signature Tours and Travel Ltd had moved to court seeking an ‘’ex parte’’ order on a judgment entered against them to be set aside and reviewed to be allowed to defend the suit on merit. According to the appeal, they had engaged the firm for J.A.B Orengo and Company Advocates to defend them in this suit.
That the Advocates filed the defence and witness statement following their instructions. Thereafter their advocates previously on record did not communicate to them regarding any hearing dates, mentions or anything regarding the suit. Further, they claimed that they were never called to defend the case and only learnt about the case and the judgment from one of the bank’s officers.
It was also noted that they learnt about the judgment and were not able to reach Orengo to find out what transpired in the matter and the circumstances under which the judgment was entered. In an affidavit, they stated that he is aware that, “J.A.B Orengo went for campaigns and was elected as Governor of Siaya County and that may explain why he was not actively in the office”.
According to the judge, the fact that their advocate was engaged in political campaigns or elections is not an excuse particularly since it is a matter of public knowledge that elections took place in August 2022 and the same cannot justify non-attendance by the advocates since 2019.
In the ruling, the judge noted that there was no evidence to show that the Defendants took any active steps to defend the suit even when their Advocates failed to inform them for three years of the position in the suit.