Judge pulls out of ex CBK boss Ndungu’s case

A judge has disqualified herself from a case where former Central Bank of Kenya (CBK) Governor Prof Njuguna Ndungu is urging the Court of Appeal to block the Director of Public Prosecutions from prosecuting him in the Sh1.2 billion security tender award for the bank.

Lady Justice Agnes Murgor disqualified herself saying “she acted for the CBK when she was in private practise and cannot therefore sit in appeal in the case concerning it.”

Lawyer Cecil Miller for Prof Ndung’u did not oppose Justice Murgor recusing herself but asked the matter be allocated an early hearing date.

Justice Murgor was sitting with Justice Wanjiru Karanja and Justice Daniel Musinga when appeal suffered the hurdle.

Prof Ndung’u who picked Miller to represent him is challenging the decision of the Director of Public Prosecution (DPP) Keriako Tobiko to charge him in the Sh1.2 billion security tender award for the bank.

Mr Miller took over the case from lawyer Donald Kipkorir who was representing the former top banker when the case was being heard at the High Court.

The case was adjourned again on July 28 when it was called for hearing before Justices Kantai ole Sankale , Jamila Mohamed and Philomena Mwilu, Miller then told the court “ I have just received instructions and need time to acquaint and familiarize myself with the legal issues.”

He said he needed time file his submissions in answer to the issues raised by the DPP.

The judges allowed Miller’s request and directed him to file submissions within ten days.

The court also allowed the Ethics an Anti-Corruption Commission to respond to the issues raised by Miller within seven days.

Professor Ndungu filed an appeal after his application for judicial review seeking to bar his prosecution was dismissed by the High Court.

Justice George Odunga dismissed the application challenging the criminal trial and consequently allowed DPP and EACC to prosecute him over the tender award.

The judge said that it’s the trial court, that was best placed to determine the allegation and that Professor Ndungu will be given humble time to defend himself.

“I am therefore not convinced there is sufficient reason to stop the impending prosecution. He will be given a fair chance to defend himself at the trial,“ Justice Odunga said.

Professor Ndungu was not satisfied with the judgement of the superior court and he filed an appeal seeking to have the impending trial a nullity.

This article was published by CAPITAL FM NEWS on September 28, 2016