Former Finance minister Chris Okemo on Monday got a temporary reprieve after the Court of Appeal granted orders suspending the extradition case against him pending before the magistrate court until his appeal is heard and determined.
Appellate judges Alnashir Visram, G.B.M Kariuki and Sankale ole Kantai yesterday granted the orders after it emerged that the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) through lawyer Dorcas Oduol, was not prepared to proceed with the matter.
Mr Okemo, through lawyer Fred Ngatia, told the court that he would be left exposed to the extradition case against him that is set to commence on February 12.
“Given that the DPP is not ready to argue the matter, I very strongly believe that Mr Okemo will be exposed to the risk of extradition proceedings which will be very unfair.
High Court judge Isaac Lenoala had on December 18, allowed the proceedings against him to continue and we fear those proceedings may be concluded before we argue our appeal,” pleaded Mr Ngatia.
Mr Justice Lenoala had while declining the application by Mr Okemo and former Kenya Power and Lighting Company managing director Samuel Gichuru, seeking to block the case, said the matter was properly before the magistrate’s court and the two could have their grievances heard and determined by the same court.
The order by the Court of Appeal may also benefit Mr Gichuru because the judges directed that there be no hearing date at the magistrate’s court pending hearing and determination of the said application.