Three judges picked to hear Matemu case
Posted Sunday, June 17 2012 at 14:34
A three-judge Bench has been picked to hear a petition lodged by a human rights group that has temporarily blocked the appointment of Mumo Matemu as the chairman of the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission.
Chief Justice Willy Mutunga has named judges Joel Mwaura, George Odunga and Mumbi Ngugi to hear the case.
When the matter appeared before the judges for the first time last week on Thursday, the Bench directed that the case be heard from July 12.
Trusted Society of Human Rights Alliance recently obtained interim orders to stop Mr Matemu from assuming office.
The civil society has named the Attorney General, Justice and Constitutional Affairs minister and director of public prosecutions (DPP) as respondents. Mr Matemu is joined in the petition as an interested party.
On May 15, Mr Justice Anyara Emukule sitting in Nakuru temporarily annulled the parliamentary and executive decision to approve Mr Matemu’s appointment pending the hearing and determination of the petition.
The group claims that during Mr Matemu’s tenure as the Agricultural Finance Corporation chief legal officer, he presided over massive plunder of public funds. Mr Matemu denied the allegations saying he was not involved in approving loans while at the corporation.
Further, he submits that matters dealing with Rift Valley Agricultural Contractors and AFC were canvassed and determined in court.
Through lawyer Gordon Ogolla, the human rights group alleges that Sh24 million was irregularly loaned to Rift Valley Agricultural Contractors in 1993.
The group says this could not have happened without the knowledge of the chief legal officer, the position Mr Matemu held.
The group says the loan was approved despite the parcel of land used as security having been sold four years prior to the transaction. Subsequent advances of Sh18 million and Sh19.2 million are said to have been released to companies associated with Rift Valley Agricultural Contractors.
The group claims the money was not given to the Rift Valley Agricultural Contractors but was disbursed to the National Bank in unclear circumstances.
The group is asking the court to order a review and setting aside of Mr Matemu’s appointment on the grounds of want of integrity on office holder.
But Mr Matemu objects to the civil society making wild allegations without any supporting evidence.
“The petitioner has not provided particulars of either want of integrity or dishonour to public office,” says Matemu in a replying affidavit.
He is also asking the court to remove the A-G and DPP as parties to the petition saying the two organs were not involved in his appointment.