Lawyer Ahmednasir Abdullahi. PHOTO | EVANS HABIL | NMG
The High Court has overturned Sh750,000 damages paid to lawyer Ahmednasir Abdullahi to cater for the repairs and replacement of a windscreen of his luxurious Bentley that was destroyed as he drove on a key highway three years ago.
Justice Stella Mutuku quashed the amount saying Mr Abdullahi failed to table evidence or call a witness to support his claims that indeed his vehicle was damaged as he drove along the Nairobi-Namanga highway.
Kenya National Highways Authority (KeNHA) appealed the decision made by a Kajiado magistrate arguing that the court placed the burden of proving that the incident did not happen on it.
Mr Abdullahi sued the agency for negligence after the windscreen of his Bentley Bentyaga was damaged by a stone at a section of the highway that was undergoing repair by workers contracted by KeNHA.
“No one else, other than the respondent, is aware that he was travelling to Nairobi from Arusha on the 30th August 2018. The exact location of the accident is also not known,” the judge said adding that the senior counsel mentioned that the incident happened somewhere between Kajiado and Isinya.
In his suit, Mr Abdullahi claimed the workers failed to put up appropriate signs warning motorists of danger on the stretch of the highway that was being re-carpeted. The magistrate court agreed with Mr Abdullahi saying KeNHA had a duty of care to warn motorists.
The agency appealed the decision arguing that there was no evidence that the accident happened.
Justice Mutuku said the agency owes a duty of care to road users and should warn road users when carrying out repairs.
However, it is a requirement of the law the one alleging must present evidence to prove that he did travel to Arusha and that his vehicle was damaged as claimed.
The judge noted that Mr Abdullahi produced photocopies, not certified as copies of original and his evidence required corroboration to convince the court that what he said was true.
“As the evidence stands, it is his word of mouth alone that he traveled to Tanzania. He told the trial court that his word is sufficient. I am afraid not. At least not under these circumstances,” she said.
The court said the lawyer did not notify the agency about the accident until one month later when he sent a demand letter and never produced a photograph showing the extent of damage or a police report.
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