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Judges disqualify themselves from CBK governor Ndungu's case

05 May 2014, 20:25

Nairobi - Chief Justice Willy Mutunga will have to appoint a judge to hear and determine Central Bank Governor Prof Njuguna Ndung’u’s case as a judge disqualified herself Monday.

Lady Justice Mumbi Ngugi who disqualified herself from hearing the case directed that the case be heard by the Constitutional and Human rights division’s head Justice Isaac Lenaola.

Judge Ngugi said the case raises implicit concerns and hence could not proceed with it.
And judge Lenaola agreed with her and directed that the case’s file be sent to the Chief

Justice so that a judge outside that division is appointed to handle the case since judges who have dealt with it have so far received much publicity.

“In view of the issues raised by judge Ngugi, this matter has attracted adverse publicity for judges in this division, it is in prudent and in the interest of Justice that this file be immediately sent to the Chief Justice to appoint a judge outside this division to handle all aspects of it,” said judge Lenaola.

Judge Lenaola also extended orders barring the prosecution of the CBK boss saying that the wider interest of justice dictates that the temporary orders issued on February 14 barring Prof Ndung’u’s arrest and being charged be prolonged.

Lady Justice Ngugi removed the already set hearing date for the case which had been scheduled on May 14 whilst disqualifying herself.

“Having read this application on this case and the implicit concerns raised in it, I disqualify myself from dealing with this matter, I also vacate the hearing date and direct that the file be placed before the presiding judge of this division for further directions,” judge Ngugi said.

The CBK boss on Friday moved to court over recent media reports touching on his prosecution case file moving from judge Ngugi to Justice David Majanja.

Prof Njuguna Ndung’u claims the reports were contemptuous and fears that he may be prejudiced in his bid to fight his prosecution over the alleged irregular award of KES 1.2B tender to Horsebridge Networks Systems (E.A) Ltd, for the installation of a security management system at CBK headquarters and its branches.

Through his lawyer Donald Kipkorir, he blames the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission (EACC) for providing the information to the media for publication without his knowledge yet the matter is being dealt with at the High Court.

Prof Ndung’u alleges that the report published on April 23, indicated that the EACC is only comfortable with Lady Justice Ngugi in handling the case and not Justice Majanja and as a matter he ought not to have handled the case on the day the file landed before him.

According Prof Ndung’u, the report indicated that the transfer of file was suspicious, abrupt besides the decision being made last minute and he ought not to have been granted any orders to stop his impeding prosecution.

He now wants EACC ordered to produce copies of the communication exchanged with the Chief Justice with regards to that case as alleged in the media reports and the material determined on whether his rights were comprised through the published reports.

He has threatened to institute contempt proceedings against those who published the alleged contemptuous report.

Justice George Odunga had certified the matter as urgent and directed that the EACC, the Director of Public Prosecution, the Inspector General of Police and the Attorney General be notified of the latest development before further directions on Monday before judge Ngugi.

- News24

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