Judge recuses himself from Kibor's succession case

The late businessman Jackson Kibor. [File, Standard]

The Eldoret High Court Presiding judge has recused himself from the Late prominent farmer cum politician Jackson Kibor’s succession case.

Justice Reuben Nyakundi transferred the Sh16 billion succession case to the court’s newly appointed judge Emily Ominde after a section of Kibor’s family accused him of alleged bias.

The late tycoon’s three widows and 29 children have been embroiled in a bitter succession battle that has been pending in court since 2022.

The judge reached the decision after the children of the deceased wrote a complaint letter to Chief Justice Martha Koome and copied the Judicial Service Commission, the Kenya National Commission on Human Rights, the Registrar of the High Court in Eldoret and the Law Society of Kenya against the Judge.

The June 19 letter by the siblings stated in part: “This is not just about our inheritance. It is about upholding the integrity of our legal system; we believe our late father’s will was forged in favour of the youngest wife Eunita Kibor.”

They further argued that their decision was geared towards seeking a fair and just resolution to their dispute over the share of their late father’s multi-billion-shilling estate.

Justice Nyakundi has been hearing the case for the past two years.

The deceased’s children and two widows Josephine and Naomi are embroiled in a vicious legal battle with the fourth widow Eunitah over the distribution of his properties and the authenticity of a will tabled by Eunitah.

They accused Eunitah of allegedly doctoring the will to favour herself and her four children in the distribution of the will.

The tycoon’s children have waged a spirited court battle to block her from controlling the vast estate that includes prime plots, and movable and immovable assets located in Uasin Gishu, TransNzoia, Nairobi and Mombasa Counties.

Nyakundi had ordered that the contested will be examined by a forensic document examiner at the Directorate of Criminal Investigation Department in Nairobi. However, more than four months later, the report is yet to be filed in court.

According to the objectors, the purported will was not a true reflection of the deceased’s wishes.

Eunitah has however defended the purported will as a genuine document stating that her deceased husband was in sound mind when he gave instructions, to his lawyer on how he wanted his estate to be shared among his four widows and children.

The Kibor family members have been continuously accusing each other of ignoring court orders.

Last month, Eunitah obtained orders blocking Kibor’s sons from interfering with the 300-acre Mafuta farm.

She claimed that the farm was given to her by her late husband but the children claim that it forms part of the estate and does not belong to her.