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Economy

Court issues fresh arrest warrant for ‘difficult’ Jeff Koinange

Talk show host Jeff Koinange at a Nairobi court on May 19, 2015. PHOTO | FILE
Talk show host Jeff Koinange at a Nairobi court on May 19, 2015. PHOTO | FILE 

A fresh warrant of arrest has been issued against television talk show host Jeff Koinange for failing to appear in court.

Principal magistrate Maisy Chesang not only ordered the arrest of Mr Koinange, but also directed that he forfeits a Sh100,000 cash bail he deposited to gain his release last week after he was arrested over contempt of court charges.

“I acknowledge submissions that Mr Koinange is a difficult person to deal with and the explanations given for his failure to be in court are insufficient. In the circumstances, a fresh warrant of arrest is issued against him and his cash bail forfeited to the state,” ruled Ms Chesang.

Mr Koinange and businessman Tony Gachoka were last week directed to appear before the magistrate on Monday after he was arrested and released on allegations of defying a court order.

Whereas Mr Gachoka presented himself, Mr Koinange did not turn up with his lawyer explaining that he had travelled to Ivory Coast to attend a conference.

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The explanation did not go down well with the magistrate who wondered why Mr Koinange preferred going to a conference instead of attending to judicial matters.

“What was more important, cancelling the trip or attending court? The judicial process is more important than any other engagement and as a public figure, he should know that it is good order to follow court orders,” she said.

She added that Mr Koinange and Mr Gachoka have not shown a willingness to respect the court, and were only forced to appear in court after their attempts to stop proceedings were unsuccessful.

The magistrate blamed Mr Koinange’s lawyer for his absence, saying he should have informed the court last week that his client would not be able to attend court on the agreed date.

Ms Chesang first issued a warrant of arrest against the two on May 13 for disobeying a court order and failing to honour court summons.

Mr Koinange was then arrested last Tuesday, taken to court and released on a cash bail of Sh100,000. Mr Gachoka presented himself to court on Wednesday and was released on a cash bail of Sh50,000.

Their tribulations are as a result of a dispute with businessman Jimi Wanjigi, Sani Mbui Wanjigi and Kwacha Group of Companies Limited.

The dispute started in March when the complainants obtained orders against Mr Koinange, KTN, and the Standard Media Group from broadcasting or publishing defamatory statement concerning them and the company.

Despite being served with the order, the three complained, Mr Koinange invited Mr Gachoka on his “Jeff Koinange Live” talk show on April 1 and went ahead to discuss what they had been barred from broadcasting.

They were then summoned to answer to contempt charges but failed to turn up, leading to the warrants of arrest.

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