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LSK President, Azimio Leaders Hit Back at Gachagua for Targeting Justice Esther Maina

LSK President, Azimio Leaders Hit Back at Gachagua for Targeting Justice Esther Maina

Eric Theuri, the President of the Law Society of Kenya (LSK), along with several opposition leaders, has expressed their opinions regarding Deputy President Rigathi Gachagua’s imminent petition seeking the removal of Justice Esther Maina.

During a Church Service in Elgeyo-Marakwet that was attended by William Ruto, Rigathi announced his intention to submit a petition on Thursday seeking the removal of the judicial officer. He asserted that Justice Maina had declared his Ksh202 million wealth as proceeds of crime without allowing him the opportunity to present a defense.

On Monday morning, during his appearance on Citizen TV, Theuri expressed disapproval of the Deputy President’s choice to publicly address the matter instead of filing a formal complaint with the Judicial Service Commission (JSC).

He pointed out that LSK will observe and assess the evidence presented by the deputy before making any decisions.

LSK President Eric Theuri making a presentation on LSK memorandum on the public petition for the ban of TikTok on November 14, 2023 

“You see an attempt to seriously encroach into the independence of the Judiciary,” he stated.

“I have heard the sentiments that were made by the Deputy President and I thought to myself, if you have sentiments of corruption against a particular judge, just present it to the Judicial Service Commission. You do not need to go and make public pronouncements.”

Senator Ledama ole Kina from Narok, one of the panelists, supported Theuri’s perspective, alleging that President William Ruto and his deputy were making efforts to influence the Judiciary.

“We must continue strengthening our Judiciary because, without a strong Judiciary, we give room to corruption and lack of accountability,” Ledama insisted.

He contended that in case someone felt wronged by a decision, the legal stipulation was evident that any individual, irrespective of their social status, was required to contest it through the JSC.

“We have the JSC which I believe is a competent body that can be able to deal with any issues of complaint. I think what the President and his deputy are doing is completely trying to usurp powers or take away the independence of the Judiciary,” the Senator added.

“When you hear sentiments by the Deputy President saying that he will be the first one to go in and complain about a particular Judge, he is being so petty and personal. When you have an issue or concerns, then bring them to the table.”

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Rarieda Member of Parliament Otiende Amollo, affiliated with the opposition coalition, expressed skepticism about the DP’s petition success, suggesting that it hinged on the appeal process and raising concerns about its outcome.

“(This is) dead on arrival! That’s a matter for appeal or review, not removal!” He insisted.

The Deputy President announced his intention to submit a petition on Thursday, seeking the judge’s removal due to allegations of misconduct and corruption on her part.

“I will lead by example on Thursday this coming week. I will personally present a petition before CJ Koome against Justice Esther Maina for her removal from the Judiciary for misconduct and corruption. She declared my hard-earned wealth as proceeds of crime without allowing me to be heard”, DP Gachagua.

Senior Counsel Otiende Amollo in court 

Attorney Ahmednassir expressed a differing opinion from Gachagua’s defense of Justice Maina, asserting that the judge was principled.

“Deputy President Gachagua is plainly wrong on this. Justice Maina is a principled judge who has a clean record from the magistracy to the High Court. I have strongly disagreed with her on the few occasions I appeared before her, and I told her in court that I found her too ‘pro-government.’ But she isn’t a judge one can accuse of corruption or incompetence,” stated the lawyer.

“The sentiments by DP Gachagua must, however, be appreciated in light of CJ Koome’s woeful inability to provide a road map to address corruption and incompetence in the judiciary. Koome must realize that burying her head in the sand won’t do it!”

In July 2022, Justice Esther Maina determined that an amount of Ksh202 million associated with the Deputy President had been received from government entities. However, there was no substantiating evidence indicating that Gachagua had provided any goods or services to the government. Consequently, the conclusion drawn was that the funds constituted proceeds of criminal activity.

The funds deposited in a microfinance bank were divided among three accounts, with one of them containing Ksh165 million.

LSK President, Azimio Leaders Hit Back at Gachagua for Targeting Justice Esther Maina

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