High Court judge Martin Muya moves to Supreme Court to challenge his removal from office

Sunday, April 26th, 2020 14:04 |
Justice Martin Martin Muya. Photo/Courtesy

By Alphonce Mung'ahu

Embattled High Court Judge Martin Muya has moved to Supreme Court seeking to challenge his impending removal from office for alleged gross misconduct.

The Judge is aggrieved by the recommendation by a seven-member tribunal to President Uhuru Kenyatta to show him the door for offending the judicial code of conduct.

In his appeal application filed at Supreme registry justice Muya through  veteran lawyer Philip Nyachoti says he is dissatisfied with the decision of a tribunal formed by president Uhuru Kenyatta to investigate him.

The tribunal, chaired by retired Appellate Judge Alnashir Visram, pronounced it's adverse findings against the Judge on March 17,2020.

The team then handed it's report and recommendation to the Head of State at State House Nairobi.

The three-page document is to be served upon the tribunal's secretary. The team conducted it's hearings at the Kenyatta International Conference Centre in Nairobi.

The tribunal concluded that Justice Muya was guilty of gross misconduct by his delay in delivering reasons for his ruling dated May 30, 2017 in a civil suit while sitting in Bomet.

The Judge had justified his professional handling of the case, in which his decision has never been challenged in the Court of Appeal.

Lawyer Nyachoti, in the appeal application wants to forestall the sacking of his client before the appeal is heard and determined.

Justice Muya says that the tribunal ultimately erred in law by finding that he was guilty of gross misconduct necessitating his removal.

"Tribunal overall erred in law by making hasty and lopsided evaluations of the evidence adduced before it, thereby arriving at wrong conclusions findings and recommendations," said the judge.

He said that the tribunal erred in law by deviating from and failing to apply the correct standard of proof and the burden  and or onus of proof required in the proceedings of a tribunal established under Article 168(5) of the constitution of the republic of Kenya.

The tribunal comprised of Justice Visram, retired High Court Judge Festus Azangalala, Senior Counsel Lucy Kambuni, lawyers Amrose Weds and Andrew Bahati Mwamuye and members Sylvia Wanjiku Muchiri and Amina Abdalla.

The Lead Assisting Counsel was Paul Nyamodi, assisted by Senior State Attorney Stella Munyi.

The Judicial Service Commission, chaired by CJ David Maraga, recommended the probe on Justice Muya following complaints by the defunct NIC bank over it's commercial dispute with businessman Alfred Kipkorir  Mutai and Kipsigis Stores Ltd.

The bank had protested that the Judge had granted the borrowers an injunction and reserved his reasons for five months.

In it's report to the President, the JSC observed that the bank suffered financial loss despite it's pleas to the Judge that the vehicles offered as security for the disputed loan had already been sold by the defaulting borrowers.

The commission had concluded that the petition against the Judge had disclosed open bias, abuse of office, incompetence and gross misconduct.

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