Gachagua announces plans to petition for removal of Justice Esther Maina

Sunday, January 14th, 2024 14:47 | By
Gachagua announces plans to file petition seeking removal of Justice Esther Maina
Deputy President Rigathi Gachagua during a past function. PHOTO/@rigathi/X

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

Speaking during a church service at Iten Sports Ground on Sunday, January 14, the country's second in command said he will file the petition before the Chief Justice Martha Koome-led commission on Thursday, January 18.

Gachagua's revelations come days after Koome challenged the executive to table evidence linking any judge to corruption after President William Ruto recently accused the courts of being used by malicious actors to sabotage government projects.

In his address on Sunday, Gachagua claimed that he had evidence linking Justice Maina to graft.

"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," the DP stated.

Gachagua accused the judge of declaring his hard-earned wealth amounting to Ksh202 million proceeds of corruption without giving him an opportunity to be heard.

"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.

DP Gachagua asked members of the public with similar complaints against judicial officers to join him on Thursday as he formally petitions for the removal of Justice Maina from office.

"I want to ask all Kenyans with similar petitions against judges to join me on Thursday we submit together so that she (Koome) can start processing them," he added.

He noted that the President of the Supreme Court should also come clean on the number of petitions before the JSC and the action taken.

"We want to ask her Ladyship to tell Kenyans how many complaints have been filed against judicial officers, how many she has dealt with and the timeline to conclude those petitions."

Gachagua graft case

Gachagua had in July 2022 lost his Ksh202 million to the State after Justice Maina ruled that the money held in four accounts at Rafiki Microfinance was proceeds of corruption.

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

“I have carefully considered the evidence on record including affidavits, annexures and submissions by all parties and I am satisfied that the funds are liable for forfeiture to the government,” the judge said.

However, Gachagua got a reprieve eight months later after the Assets and Recovery Agency (ARA) agreed to have the millions forfeited to the State refunded following an appeal lodged by the deputy president.

ARA told the court that it had established that the funds were not proceeds of crime as earlier alleged.

ARA, through its investigating officer Sergeant Fredrick Musyoki, informed the Court of Appeal in February 2023 that the agency never investigated allegations by the Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI) that Gachagua obtained the money fraudulently from various State institutions and the Bungoma County Government.

The fresh turn of events came three months after the Directorate of Public Prosecutions (DPP) withdrew a Ksh7.3 billion graft case against Gachagua, citing a lack of evidence to sustain graft charges against the DP.

More on News