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Home Uncategorized Businessman Files Petition With JSC Over Bribery Claims Against Justice Esther Maina

Businessman Files Petition With JSC Over Bribery Claims Against Justice Esther Maina

Businessman Files Petition With JSC Over Bribery Claims Against Justice Esther Maina

by Sleuth 411
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Esther Maina

High Court judge Justice Esther Maina sent a university student to collect a Ksh2.5 million from a businessman whose assets were frozen last year by the State, a petition lodged before the Judicial Service Commission (JSC) indicates.

According to the petition filed by the trader Kepha Kefa Odiero, the judge demanded the bribe to facilitate the lifting of the preservation orders relating to his Ksh53 million held at the National Bank of Kenya and his two high-end motor vehicles.

Through lawyer Ndegwa Njiru, the trader claims that he met the student Anthony Manyara, who is also the leader of the University Students Union, at Jaffery sports Ground situated along Lavington in Nairobi county on September 7, 2023, at 8;30 pm.

Odiero says he was accompanied by his friend Kennedy Kariithi.

“In the said meeting Manyara informed me that he had been sent by Hon. Lady Justice E. N Maina with the information that said the Judge was willing to help me with the case, and that she would assist me secure the release of my properties on condition that I agree to give or part with the sum of Ksh2.5 million,” Odiero states.

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The trader adds that Manyara also informed him that the money was to be appropriated towards bribing the said judge.

“He further confirmed to me that he had the confidence and the blessings of the judge to collect and deliver the said amounts to her and that the said Manyara confirmed that he was closely working with the judge as her conduit on other matters that were pending before her,” Odiero petition filed at JSC states.

According to the businessman, Manyara informed him that Justice Maina had advised him to instruct his advocate to file a certificate of urgency and an application seeking the lifting of the preservation orders.

“As a means of demonstrating his contact to the judge, the said Anthony Manyara sent a screenshot from his mobile phone and on the said screenshot the following information was noted; “Facilitate 4 all reasons asset recovery has not proved that the money which is in the account USD 360,000 equivalent to Ksh53 million is not proceeds of crime. The Mercedes Benz and Range Rover shall be found as assets which were bought with legit money. Tell your lawyer to do a certificate of urgency, he needs part of the money to pay bills e.g. Employees, rent, school fees, food”,” Odiero says.

The businessman says he declined the invitation to give a bribe to Justice Maina as requested by Manyara saying he was not in the habit of bribing Judges.

Upon the refusal to part with the bribe, Odiero says that Manyara thereafter made numerous and persistent calls to me threatening that if failed to comply with the solicited demands, any application that he would file before Maina would be dismissed irrespective of its merits and the judge would go ahead and grant orders of forfeiture of my properties as and when the same was filed.

“Despite the said threats I nevertheless went ahead and filed the application dated September 8, 2023, which was subsequently dismissed by the said judge on November 24 as had been promised by Manyara,” Odiero tells JSC.

In his complaint filed before JSC, the businessman now wants the judge to be investigated and removed from the judiciary for gross misconduct.

“This complaint is lodged pursuant to Article 172 (1) (c) of the Constitution to wit. I am inviting the commission to investigate the conduct of the said judge and subsequently take the appropriate action so as to safeguard the integrity and the propriety of the judiciary,” he seeks.

Further, Odiero has filed a separate application in court seeking to have Justice Maina disqualify herself from further handling his case on the grounds that she will be biased owing to the fact that he has resisted and declined the invitation to offer a bribe as sought by Manyara.

“The applicant having filed a complaint against this court before JSC, he is thus overly apprehensive that the Hon. Judge is likely to be biased against him, and that this is a classical case where a judge ought to recuse herself,” Lawyer Ndegwa states.

According to the trader, he wants the judge not to hear his case, adding that he is apprehensive that Maina will not dispense substantive justice.

“In that regard it’s only fair, just and equitable that the file be forwarded to the presiding judge of this division(Anti-Corruption High Court Division) for the purposes of appointing a neutral court that will hear and determine the pending application,” Odiero says.

The trader says the link between the said university student – Manyara and the court has completely eroded his confidence in the court adding it has further weathered his legitimate expectations that it will dispense with substantive justice.

“I am very apprehensive that if this court continues to adjudicate over this matter I will suffer irreparable loss and prejudice as it will further punish me for failing to oblige in payment of the solicited bribe thus infringing on my rights as enshrined under Article 50 of the Constitution of Kenya 2010,” Odiero states in his recusal application papers.

Following the formal filing of the application for disqualification, Justice Maina on Tuesday, January 16, 2024, directed Odiero’s lawyer to serve all parties in the case with the application.

The case will be mentioned on January 22, 2024, for directions.

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