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Former judge to sue Chief Justice

BUSIA
By | March 6th 2009

By Evelyne Kwamboka

Former High Court judge Vitalis Juma intends to sue Chief Justice Evan Gicheru over his sacking.

Juma, who was sacked by President Kibaki following recommendations of a tribunal investigating his conduct, says the CJ failed to perform his constitutional duties.

"Both the AG and CJ neglected as members of the Judicial Service Commission to ensure the due process of the law under the Constitution and the Public Officer Ethics Act 2003 was observed and legitimately expected in the process involving the investigation of allegations," he claimed.

Juma said his intended case recognises that the Constitution entitles one to petition to the High Court in its original jurisdiction where one’s fundamental rights and freedoms have been contravened.

Wrote letter

He said this in a letter through his advocate, Mr Stephen Mwenesi.

In the petition attached to the letter forwarded to the AG on March 3, Juma claims the decision was unconstitutional, since Gicheru, who was a crucial witness, was excluded from the proceedings.

"The CJ refused, neglected or ignored to present himself to the tribunal in the petitioner’s matter, notwithstanding that he had publicly through the East African Standard newspaper of October 8, 2003, assured of hard tackling of the petitioner to the tribunal, if the petitioner chose to face the tribunal," he says.

Juma will be seeking a declaration that unless he is constitutionally and legally removed from office, he is entitled to resume performing his functions as a judge.

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