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Kibaki’s property suit adjourned for criminal matters

15 October 2013, 21:32 Joseph Njung'eh

Nyeri - A civil suit in which former head of state, Mwai Kibaki, is embroiled was on Monday postponed due to lack of a judge to handle the matter.

The suit was to proceed at Nyeri Lands and Environment court before Judge Justice Anthony Ombwayo but was among many other cases put on halt.

The move followed the Judicial Service Week program which the judiciary has dedicated one week to clear all criminal appeals putting aside all other matters.

Nyeri law courts have three High Court Judges.

In an uncommon occurrence, Kibaki appeared in court on September 23 seeking to be the first witness in a property case where he is one of the defendants. 

The suit concerns a building in Nyeri town which Kibaki purchased in 1975 in company of other five partners from his village in Othaya.

Through his lawyer, Gibson Kamau Kuria, Kibaki made an application urging the court to give him the first priority since he has some national duties and his presence in court should be treated as an a urgent matter.

Kamau told the court that Kibaki and his partners have not been receiving the proceedings of the building since 2007 for they have been going to strangers.

However, the application was opposed by the plaintiffs’ lawyer, Lucy Mwai, arguing that Kibaki was enjoined in the suit recently and she had not been served with documents of enjoinment from the defendants’ lawyer.

She said Kamau’s application had no merit before the court.

She further told the court that civil matter laws have to be followed for delivery of justice irrespective of other factors.

However, Justice Ombwayo dismissed Kamua’s application on grounds that the lawyer failed to prove why Kibaki would be given the first chance as the witness.

The judge said the lawyer did not sufficiently indicate to court that Kibaki’s evidence would be given priority and be taken as an urgent matter.

“The defendants’ lawyer did not give adequate reasons to show the urgency of the matter. His arguments were just based on the previous status of his client. The status is not sufficient in the course,” the court ruled adding that justice will be delivered irrespective of the status.

The matter will appear again October 22, 2013.

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