Judge riled by missing court documents in soldier's case

Joel Kitanga Nguyo. [Courtesy]
The fate of a former solider serving five years’ imprisonment hangs in the balance after his trial file disappeared.

Joel Kitanga Nguyo, who was a lieutenant in the Kenya Army, had been court-martialed for insubordination.

He was convicted and sentenced on February 2015, but later filed an appeal before the High Court in Nakuru.

Yesterday, Justice Joel Ngugi ordered the military court to submit the proceedings used during Nguyo’s conviction or he would be forced to order that the former lieutenant is reinstated.

Nguyo faced five other charges, including failure to properly perform military duties, and conduct that prejudiced good order and service, among others.

In his application, the former soldier said the reason behind the failure by the Kenya Defence Forces to supply the proceedings against him was a “deliberate act of punishing” him.

He said his life had changed drastically, making it difficult for him to sustain his family.

“I have been in prison for almost a year. My health has seriously deteriorated and I have to borrow from family members and friends,” he said.

Nguyo was attached to the 3KR unit in Nakuru before being sentenced by a military court at Lanet Barracks.

In December 2015, a Nakuru judge released Nguyo on a Sh300,000 bond, saying he was not considered a flight risk.

Nguyo has been reporting to court for the past three years, but the martial court is yet to produce case proceedings.

As a result, the case has been adjourned several times despite Nguyo travelling from Machakos to Nakuru to attend court sessions.

“I always travel hoping that my case will be heard, but all is in vain because the files have not been produced. It is frustrating,” he said.

The case will be mentioned on March 12.

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Joel Kitanga NguyoKenya Armyinsubordination