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How angry lawyer smashed magistrate’s head with a chair, won case after using clever trick

Senior Counsel reveals his tricks

Clever legal trick Paul Muite used to save Kenyan lawyer who smashed magistrate's head with a chair

On the morning of Monday 11th 2013, Kenya was headed for the historic inaugural Presidential candidate that had been organized by a consortium of local media houses.

The organisers had decided that two of the eight candidates, Paul Muite and Abduba Dida, did not qualify to participate in the debate.

Muite had filed a last-minute petition at the High Court which was decided at around 11am on Monday – forcing the organisers to include the lawyer together with then little-known teacher Abduba Dida.

 When the debate took place a few hours later, Muite and Dida appeared as appendages as the organisers had looked for makeshift podiums to accommodate them.


Young Kenyans may will probably associate Muite with this incident but the lawyer is a veteran in the corridors of justice and has rightly earned the rare title of Senior Counsel that is only held by 26 lawyers in the country.

Criminal Contempt

On Monday, Muite shared one of the cases which he had won in the 1970s – just a few years after getting a law degree from the University of London.

He recalled his client was a lawyer who had angrily smashed a magistrate’s head with a chair.

The magistrate immediately jailed the unidentified lawyer for contempt of court.


In a brilliant legal strategy, Muite successfully got his client acquitted after arguing that the magistrate did not powers to determine matters to do with contempt of court which was placed on the High Court at the time.

In the early '70s, a Kenyan Lawyer had similarly smashed the head of a Magistrate with a chair; I got him off the hook on the technicality that the Magistrate had proceeded to jail him for contempt,a jurisdiction he did not then have!” he recalled, adding that the unidentified advocate is currently a Member of Parliament.

Muite was reacting to a story about a Pakistani lawyer who was on Monday sentenced to 18 years prison after smashing a chair on the head of the judge. 


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