Judge declines to withdraw from John Gakuo corruption case


Judge declines to withdraw from John Gakuo corruption case
Former Nairobi Town Clerk John Gakuo. PHOTO| COURTESY

In Summary

  • The judge said his impartiality and appreciation of the law will be determined by the evidence or facts of the case and the applicable law.
  • Mr. Gakuo, former Local Government PS Sammy Kirui and two others filed an appeal challenging their three-year sentence over their roles in the Ksh.283 million Mavoko cemetery land scam.
  • They wanted the appeal to be heard by a different judge and not Justice Onyiego who rejected their bail application.

High Court judge John Onyiego has declined to recuse himself from hearing an appeal filed by former Nairobi Town Clerk John Gakuo and three others.

Mr. Gakuo, former Local Government PS Sammy Kirui and two others filed an appeal challenging their three-year sentence over their roles in the Ksh.283 million Mavoko cemetery land scam.

The former Nairobi town clerk and his co-accused wanted to be released on bail pending the hearing and determination of their appeal, an application that was denied by Justice Onyiego in July this year.

Gakuo now argues that the court having dismissed the application for bail, it is deemed to have made up its mind and is also likely to be influenced to dismiss the appeal against the three-year sentence.

The judge on Wednesday said his impartiality and appreciation of the law will be determined by the evidence or facts of the case and the applicable law .

“In the bias or any interest in the matter, the grounds cited for recusal remains unproved and unsubstantiated hence the application is dismissed,”reads the ruling

The court ruled that it has neither been accused of any bias nor does it have any pecuniary interest in the matter.

“There’s no law to my knowledge that prohibits or bars a judge who having heard an application for bail pending appeal from hearing the main appeal in respect to the same party or litigant,’’ ruled Justice Onyiego.

The court noted that an application for recusal of a judge should not be made based on “perception, hearsay, imagination, fear of the unknown or probabilities but rather on serious interrogation on the reasons cited for recusal and its likely effect on substantive justice if proved or established.”

In addition to the three-year jail term, Gakuo and his co-accused were also fined Ksh.1 million each.

They wanted the appeal to be heard by a different judge and not Justice Onyiego who rejected their bail application.

In denying the accused bail, Judge Onyiego ruled that the appellants did not demonstrate that their appeal has high chances of success.

 

For Citizen TV updates
Join @citizentvke Telegram channel



Video Of The Day: On Viusasa, now you can download your videos and play them back later

Story By Benjamin Muriuki
More by this author