Companies

NCBA faulted over complaint on High Court judge

ncba

Former Commercial Bank of Africa outlet in Nairobi. CBA merged with NIC Bank to form NCBA Group. FILE PHOTO | NMG

BDgeneric_logo

Summary

  • NCBA bank has been accused of using the wrong channel in filing a complaint that led to the recommendation for the removal of a High Court judge.
  • Appearing before the Supreme Court Wednesday, Justice Martin Muya who is fighting to keep his job, said the bank filed a complaint to the Chief Justice through the law firm of Onyinkwa and Company Advocates.

NCBA bank #ticker:NCBA has been accused of using the wrong channel in filing a complaint that led to the recommendation for the removal of a High Court judge.

Appearing before the Supreme Court Wednesday, Justice Martin Muya who is fighting to keep his job, said the bank filed a complaint to the Chief Justice through the law firm of Onyinkwa and Company Advocates.

Instead, Justice Muya said the bank should have filed the complaint to the Judicial Service Commission (JSC) as required by Article 168 of the constitution, which provides for grounds for the removal of a judge.

Through his lawyer Philip Nyachoti, Justice Muya said a letter to the Chief Justice cannot be said to be a proper petition before the JSC.

A tribunal chaired by former Court of Appeal judge Alnashir Visram found him guilty of gross misconduct for delaying reasons of a ruling he delivered, for a period of five months.

The delay made NCBA lose Sh76 million following the sale of lorries that had been used as security for a loan.

Mr Nyachoti said it was former Chief Justice David Maraga who forwarded the letter to JSC.

“We submit that there was no valid petition as contemplated by Article 168(2)(3) of the constitution. The letter did not amount to a complaint to the JSC,” he said. The said article provides for grounds for the removal of a judge.

Further, Mr Nyachoti told the judges that Justice Muya was never accorded a fair hearing because the file, which formed the basis of the complaint, was never produced before the JSC or the tribunal that investigated his conduct.

“The judge was emphatic that the file was necessary in order to prepare for his defence. He proceeded with the proceedings under duress, not voluntarily as alleged,” he said.

By then, some of the 14 lorries which NCBA bank was pursuing had been auctioned by another party, over a different debt. The lender was entangled in a legal fight with Kipsigis Stores over a loan, which was secured using the lorries.