Ex- judiciary accountant to be paid for illegal sacking


The Court of Appeal has suspended a decision to punish NEA director-general Edith Okoki. FILE PHOTO | SHUTTERSTOCK

A former accountant at the Judiciary will be paid Sh1.5 million after the Employment court ruled that his sacking in 2021 was done in violation of his rights.

Employment and Labour Court judge Stella Ruto directed the Judicial Service Commission (JSC) to compensate Jophter Echor Jakait, who was sacked in August 2021 over claims of gross misconduct.

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The former accountant in charge of Butali law courts was accused of failing to bank deposits amounting to Sh166,000.

However, the court ruled that the JSC violated his rights after failing to give him a chance to cross-examine the internal auditor who made adverse claims against him, which led to his sacking.

“In view of the foregoing, I find that the petitioner is entitled to some of the reliefs sought being a declaration that his rights under Articles 47 and 50 of the constitution of Kenya were violated by the respondent in that he was not afforded an opportunity to cross-examine an adverse witness,” the judge ruled.

Chief Registrar of Judiciary Anne Amadi defended his sacking saying he was given sufficient time to give his response but that he failed to exonerate himself.

Ms Amadi further said Mr Jakait failed to account for the under-banking and also produce missing receipt books.

Mr Jakait said he was hired in October 2006 and posted to Tamu law courts as a court interpreter from a marginalised community.

He was deployed to the court’s accounts section due to his background in accounting and was promoted before he was transferred to Bungoma and later the Butali law courts.

His lawyer Bryan Khaemba said during his 13 years of service, Mr Jakait never faced any disciplinary action.

Mr Khaemba said Mr Jakait was only in the new station for six months yet the audit period covered months when he was not in the station.

The court was informed that a team of internal auditors led by Mr George Muhoho pointed out the anomaly and Mr Jakait was asked to show cause why he should not be dismissed from the service for gross misconduct.

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Mr Jakait said he requested permission to access the financial records at Butali Law courts in order to prepare a detailed analysis of funds collected and surrendered between September 2017 and March 2018 but only got limited access for eight days and was also denied a chance to cross-examine Mr Muhoho on the surrender of the requested receipt books.

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