Gachagua Goes After Judge Maina Over 2022 Ruling on his Ksh200 Million Graft Case

January 15, 2024

Deputy President Rigathi Gachagua has declared his intention to file a petition before the Judicial Service Commission (JSC) seeking the removal from office of High Court Judge Esther Maina.

During a church service at Iten Sports Ground on Sunday, January 14, Gachagua announced that he would heed Chief Justice Martha Koome’s advice and submit the petition to the Koome-led commission on Thursday, January 18.

The DP’s declaration came days after Chief Justice Koome challenged the executive to present evidence linking any judge to corruption. This follows President William Ruto’s recent accusations of the courts being manipulated by malicious actors to undermine government projects.

Gachagua claimed that Justice Maina, in an unceremonious manner, declared his fortune of Ksh202 million as proceeds of crime, alleging that it was a deliberate attempt to tarnish his image.

RELATED – DP Gachagua Plays Down Ksh.200m Seized By The State

The Deputy President further asserted that Justice Maina denied him the opportunity to be heard, violating established rules of evidence, and even rejected his application to cross-examine the investigator in his case.

“She (Koome) has challenged us and I will lead by example. 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.

“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 added.

Deputy President Gachagua invited members of the public with similar grievances against judicial officers to join him on Thursday as he formally petitions for the removal of Justice Maina from office.

He also challenged Chief Justice Koome to disclose the number of petitions filed against judicial officers, asserting that it is time for her to reveal the truth to the Kenyan public.

“We would like to ask CJ Koome how many complaints have been filed against judicial officers, how many she has dealt with, and what is the timeline to conclude those petitions she has challenged us to give evidence,” Gachagua said

Gachagua graft case

In July 2022, Gachagua lost  Ksh202 million to the State after Justice Maina determined that the funds held in four accounts at Rafiki Microfinance were proceeds of corruption.

The judge ruled that Gachagua, who was a presidential running mate for William Ruto at that time, had received the money from State agencies. However, there was no evidence to substantiate that he had supplied any goods or services to the government.

However, eight months later, Gachagua received a reprieve when the Assets and Recovery Agency (ARA) agreed to refund the millions that had been forfeited to the State. This decision followed an appeal lodged by the deputy president.

ARA informed the court that they had determined the funds were not proceeds of crime, contrary to the earlier allegations.

The new development unfolded three months after the Directorate of Public Prosecutions (DPP) withdrew a Ksh7.3 billion graft case against Gachagua. The withdrawal was based on the acknowledgment of a lack of evidence to sustain corruption charges against the Deputy President.

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