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Magistrate denies misconduct in MP Aisha Jumwa graft case

Mombasa Court Chief Magistrate Edna Nyaloti [Kelvin Karani, Standard]

A magistrate handling a case against Malindi MP Aisha Jumwa has dismissed claims by lawyers against her in a letter forwarded to the Chief Justice.

Mombasa Chief Magistrate Ednah Nyaloti said she was doing her job and had refused to be compromised by lawyers representing the legislator in a Sh19 million corruption case.

“Being firm and doing my work, refusing to be compromised is not misconduct and unbecoming,” said the magistrate.

She was responding to a protest letter by lawyer Danstan Omari to Chief Justice Martha Koome on August 10. The lawyer had accused Nyaloti of misconduct and unbecoming behaviour while presiding over the graft case against the MP.  

Nyaloti said Omari had mistaken her being firm and refusing to be compromised for misconduct and unbecoming behaviour.

The magistrate, who has been transferred to Nakuru to take charge of the station, is expected to clear the case she had partly heard before reporting to the new station in October.

On August 9, Nyaloti declined to allow adjournment of the case against Jumwa and directed the MP be charged afresh with an amended charge sheet which prompted protest from her lawyers.

The magistrate, however, directed the MP to consult with the four lawyers and convince them to come back because it would be unfair to waste a whole week scheduled for the hearing.

Led by Omari, lawyers Jared Magolo, Shadrack Wambui and Titus Kirui proceeded to withdraw their services and ceased representing Jumwa in the graft case.

In the protest letter to CJ, Omari accused the magistrate of summoning them for unknown reasons yet they were no longer representing Jumwa.

“Nyaloti has exhibited ill-will as she has in open court adjourned other matters on grounds that she is on transfer, yet she continues to unreasonably cling on the file,” said Omari.

The controversy about the representation started on August 9 after the Director of Public Prosecution decided to charge Jumwa and six co-accused afresh based on amended charges. 

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