Suspended judge Muya’s petition heard, Supreme Court to deliver ruling on notice

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The Supreme Court will deliver its judgement on notice in a case where Justice Martin Muya is seeking to quash his suspension over allegations of abuse of office.

Justice Muya filed an appeal against the decision of the tribunal that was constituted by President Uhuru Kenyatta to hear a petition logged against him by NIC Bank accusing him of gross misconduct after failing to give reasons for delaying a ruling in a case where the bank had been sued by Kipsigis stores and two others in 2017.

The seven member tribunal which was constituted as per recommendations by the Judicial Service Commission and chaired by former court of appeal judge Alnashir Visram found him guilty of gross misconduct and abuse of office, thereby recommending his removal from office.

The dispute revolved around a loan borrowed by Kipsigis Stores from NIC Bank and used 14 lorries as security. However, the company fell into arrears and the lender seized them with plans to auction them, only for Kipsigis stores to seek an injunction.

“The Tribunal is of the view that the Hon. Judge misconducted himself by delaying to deliver the reserved reasons with the result that access to justice was curtailed and specifically with respect to the defendant,” ruled the tribunal.

The tribunal found the Judge’s action for not giving reasons for stopping the sale occasioned the loss of Sh76 million to the lender.

However, the embattled judge through lawyers Philip Nyachoti and Fred Ngatia argues that he explained the reasons for the delay which was, the file had gone missing.

Lawyer Nyachoti added that his client ordered a ‘status quo’ which was to ensure that the possession of the lorries remained as they were, until further orders of the court. He further said the orders did not allow Kipsigis stores to sell or dispose of the lorries.

The court heard that the Tribunal erred in law and in fact by ignoring a substantial part of the judge’s evidence offered in explanation for the delay in giving reasons for the ruling delivered on 30th May 2017 without any proper, justifiable and logical reasoning and/or ground.

The judge also argues that the tribunal erred in law and in fact by constantly making unfounded presumptions adverse to him despite contradictory evidence on record to the contrary.