DP Gachagua makes u-turn, says won't file petition against judge Esther Maina

DP Gachagua makes u-turn, says won't file petition against judge Esther Maina

DP Rigathi Gachagua speaks during an interview with iNooro FM on October 6, 2023. PHOTO | COURTESY

Deputy President Rigathi Gachagua has backtracked on his plan to file a petition for the removal of Judge Esther Maina from office. 

In a statement issued on Thursday, the Deputy President's office said the move had been prompted by the need to allow for dialogue between the Executive and the Judiciary on the conduct of judicial officers.

"Deputy President Rigathi Gachagua notes the current national discourse on judicial transparency and application of Article 10 of the Constitution of Kenya on the conduct of Judges and other Judicial Officers. He welcomes the statement by Chief Justice Martha Koome inviting dialogue on the critical issue of accountability of the Judiciary, which H.E President William Ruto has embraced."

"In this regard, the Deputy President will not proceed with the matter of the petition, for now," reads the statement issued by Njeri Rugene, Head of the Deputy Presidential Communication Service.

Gachagua had vowed to ensure the removal of Justice Maina whom he accused of unceremoniously declaring his fortune proceeds of crime, a move he says was meant to taint his image.

"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," Gachagua said during an address in Elgeyo Marakwet last Sunday.

The DP further claimed that Justice Maina denied him the opportunity to be heard against all the rules of evidence and that she even refused his application to cross-examine the investigator of his case. 

In 2022, Justice Maina ruled against Gachagua's application to have his accounts unfrozen by the Assets Recovery Agency. 

Instead, the court ruled that he forfeits to the state the Ksh202 million in his accounts, as they were proceeds of corruption. 

Gachagua, however, got back his money when together with President William Ruto, they ascended to power following the 2022 general election.  

On Monday this week, Chief Justice Martha Koome said the Judicial Service Commission (JSC) had reached out to President Ruto for a meeting to discuss any issues that the Executive has with the Judiciary or judical officers. 

In response, President William Ruto welcomed Chief Justice Koome's sentiments on the need for dialogue to address the recent attacks on the Judiciary and corruption allegations against judicial officers.

Speaking during the commissioning of the Tinderet Integrated Technical and Trainers College in Nandi County on Tuesday, President Ruto expressed his readiness to spearhead the conversation, adding that the talks should involve all three arms of government.


Judiciary DP Gachagua Judge Esther Maina

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