Gachagua To Present Petition For Removal Of judge who instructed him to forfeit Sh202 million, deeming it as proceeds of corruption

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Gachagua To Present Petition For Removal Of judge who instructed him to forfeit Sh202 million, deeming it as proceeds of corruption

Deputy President Rigathi Gachagua has announced his intention to submit a petition to the Judicial Service Commission (JSC), accusing Justice Esther Maina of misconduct and corruption. 

Gachagua made these remarks during a church service in Iten, attended by President William Ruto. 

According to Gachagua, Justice Maina allegedly declared his wealth as proceeds of crime without allowing him an opportunity to provide a defense. 

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He stated that he plans to present his complaint to the JSC on Thursday at 2:15 pm.

“On Thursday, this coming week, at 2:15 pm I will personally present a petition before Lady Chief Justice Martha Koome against Justice Esther Maina for her removal from the judiciary for misconduct and corruption,” Gachagua said.

His statement comes in response to Chief Justice Martha Koome’s invitation, urging all Kenyans, including the executive, to provide evidence linking any judge to corruption. 

During his address on Sunday, Gachagua asserted that he possesses evidence connecting Justice Maina to corrupt practices.

“Against the rules of evidence where who he alleges must prove, we made an application to cross examine the investigator and she refused because she knew there was no case,” he stated.

“Those Kenyans who have petitions let them file.I ask willing Kenyans to join me on Thursday so that they process this petitions,” Gachagua urged.

In July 2022, several months before the elections, Justice Maina instructed Gachagua to forfeit Sh202 million, deeming it as proceeds of corruption. 

She argued that the lawmaker failed to demonstrate the legitimate source of the funds. 

The case originated from Gachagua’s three personal accounts, where the Assets Recovery Unit identified numerous suspicious debit transactions totaling Sh7.3 billion.

In response, Gachagua pledged to appeal the decision, alleging bias on the part of Justice Maina. He subsequently moved to the Court of Appeal to seek a stay on the orders.

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In November 2022, a few months after the Kenya Kwanza Alliance secured victory in the polls, the Anti-Corruption Court dismissed Gachagua’s Sh7.3 billion corruption case, citing a lack of evidence.

Deputy President Rigathi Gachagua criticized the Law Society of Kenya, accusing them of hypocrisy. 

He pointed out their demonstrations following President Ruto’s critique of the Judiciary and questioned their alleged silence during the violation of the law in the previous regime.

“It’s now time to work. When the President got to power he was very kind to the Judiciary. When President Kenyatta refused to appoint the 21 judges they never said anything, in extrajudicial killings they didn’t speak.Right now is when they are coming out,” Gachagua noted.

Ruto’s allies

National Assembly Majority Leader Kimani Ichung’wah has suggested that Chief Justice Martha Koome prioritize addressing existing petitions and complaints against corrupt judges currently before the Judicial Service Commission (JSC) before entertaining new complaints. 

Ichung’wah advised the Chief Justice to handle the lodged complaints promptly as a crucial step in addressing corruption within the judiciary.

The Kikuyu MP emphasized that only after the resolution of the existing complaints can Kenyans confidently submit additional petitions and memorandums to weed out corrupt judges from the system.

 “I want to ask the Chief Justice,you have hundred of complaints and petitions and you have done nothing as JSC to deal with them.Before you ask us as leaders to bring more complaints deal with those before the JSC and Ombudsman,” Ichung’wah said.

The National Assembly Majority Leader highlighted that Chief Justice Martha Koome has not yet addressed or dismissed the corruption allegations within the third arm of government. He connected this issue to a deeply rooted vice within the judiciary that requires attention and resolution.

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 “I am happy because the Chief Justice did not deny that corruption is in Judiciary. Corruption and impunity is rife in Judiciary,” stated Ichung’wah.

The legislator, serving in his third term, urged President Ruto to steadfastly defend government projects that have been thwarted by judicial decisions.

“I want to ask all of us not to shy or cow from speaking about impunity and corruption within Judiciary.We agree with the Opposition on independence of Judiciary but it doesn’t mean we condone graft,” Ichung’wah noted.

Koome addressed the increasing criticism against judges, particularly in the face of attacks by President Ruto, who has accused some judges of corruption. Speaking at the Chief Registrar of Judiciary Anne Amadi’s handing-over ceremony on Friday, the Chief Justice, in a subtle reference to the Head of State, challenged those with grievances to formally file complaints against judges.

 “The commission will only act on the basis of evidence and not blanket statements or allegations that have not been substantiated. Doing otherwise will mean an overthrow of the Constitution and the rule of law,” said Koome.

Senate Majority Leader Aaron Cheruyoit defended the current allegations against the Judiciary, asserting that criticisms directed at errant judges do not constitute intimidation or an infringement on the independence of the Judiciary.

“The President didn’t say we fight with the Judiciary, he said we fight with rogue individuals. I therefore don’t understand these people making noise. They are making noise because they know they are rogue and that’s not intimidation,” he said.

Defense Cabinet Secretary Aden Duale criticized Chief Justice Koome for not acknowledging the presence of corruption within the arm of government, contrasting her with predecessors who had previously raised concerns about corruption within the corridors of justice.

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 “Her predecessor did better because they confessed there’s corruption in Judiciary but shes unable to do that. Her only message is use this route,” Duale stated.

Duale urged the President to stand firm, contending that the Judiciary has been used as a tool by cartels in the past to obstruct vital government projects, such as reforms in the pension fund and the National Health Insurance kitty.

 “President Ruto be consistent, they want you to leave it and run away like your predecessors. All action show you stood for the independence of Judiciary. Many cases were brought and you said lets the rule of law take its shape,” he noted.

President Ruto has consistently accused state officials who benefited from the previous regime of undermining key policies in his government.

 His criticisms of the judiciary, particularly certain High Court judges, intensified following the Constitutional Court’s ruling against the housing program. 

The court deemed the Housing Levy unconstitutional, citing discrimination, as Section 84 of the Finance Act, which introduced the levy, violated taxation principles by creating distinctions between the formal and informal sectors.

Additionally, the High Court halted the implementation and enforcement of the Social Health Insurance Fund Act 2023, the Primary Health Care Act 2023, and the Digital Health Act 2023. 

The Kenya Medical Practitioners, Pharmacists, and Dentists Union (KMPDU) secured court orders to halt the government’s planned rollout of universal health coverage, contesting key provisions in the three Acts.

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Gachagua To Present Petition For Removal Of judge who instructed him to forfeit Sh202 million, deeming it as proceeds of corruption

Gachagua To Present Petition For Removal Of judge who instructed him to forfeit Sh202 million, deeming it as proceeds of corruption

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