Sacked judge challenges removal at Supreme Court

The Supreme Court of Kenya

Former High Court Judge Martin Muya has filed a petition at the Supreme Court seeking to block his removal from the office over alleged gross misconduct.

Supreme Court Deputy Registrar, Daniel Ole Keiwua directed the parties to appear on 15th October for further directions before the file is forwarded to Chief Justice David Maraga.

The complaints against Justice Muya were first investigated by a JSC committee chaired by Prof Olive Mugenda, Deputy Chief Justice Philomena Mwilu, Emily Ominde and Patrick Gichohi.

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

The recommendations were subsequently presented to President Uhuru Kenyatta on 20th March who sealed the judge’s fate.

The complaint was due to a 2016 commercial dispute between NIC Bank and Alfred Kipkorir Mutai and Kipsigis Stores Ltd. After numerous adjournments the judge granted an injunction against the bank and reserved the reasons for five months.

Through lawyers Fred Ngatia and Philip Nyachoti, the judge said that the JSC exceeded its jurisdiction by delving into the merits of a commercial dispute and usurping the appellate jurisdiction contrary to the law. He added that the commission arrived at an illogical, irrational, unreasonable and erroneous conclusion.

The Bank wrote to the Chief Justice indicating their grievances and resulted in the disciplinary process.

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

Judge Muya had justified his professional handling of the civil suit, in which his decision has never been challenged in the Court of Appeal.