Civil Appeal cases on extradition of former Cabinet Minister Chrisantus Okemo and former Kenya Power and Lighting Company Samuel Gichuru have been adjourned by three Appellate Judges.

When the appeal case for the extradition of Chrisantus Okemwa was called out for hearing this morning, his lawyer Fred Ngatia applied for adjournment on the grounds that the DPP filed and served submissions on July 21, 2016. He however was not served with a list of authorities. Ngatia requested for 21 days to file written submissions. Ngatia further argued that the appeal be heard separately since Okemo’s case is clear and distinct from that of Gichuru and the charges are also different and distinct.

“Mr. Okemo has never been an employee of KPLC where Mr. Gichuru served as the Managing Director,” said Ngatia.

“In our view the parties are not ready for today’s hearing because the written submissions were only served on 21 July 2016 and they were not accompanied with a list of authorities. For that reason we are implying to allow an adjournment sought to allow parties file and serve written submissions” ruled the three bench appellate judges.

Appellant to file submissions within 21 days and respondents also given 21 days to respond. Hearing dates to be given by the registry.

The Director of Public Prosecution was ready to continue with the hearing of the two appeals. It is the position of the DPP that the appeals be heard together as they eminent from one judgment of the High Court and one ruling by the magistrate. The DPP’s team was led by Deputy Director of Public Prosecutions Dorcas Odour assisted by Senior Assistant Director of Public Prosecution Edwin Okello and Senior Assistant Director of Public Prosecution Lilian Obuo.

“It will be a waste of judicial time to hear the appeals separately”, said Senior Assistant Director of Public Prosecutions Edwin Okello.
In the Civil Appeal for the extradition of Samuel Gichuru to the Jersy Island, his lawyer Gershom Otachi raised the issue of recusal of the bench as currently constituted (Hellen Okwengu, Martha Koome and Festus Azangalala).

In his oral submissions Otachi argued and indicated that Justice Martha Koome had given a dissenting ruling in a judgment that challenged the report by a ministerial committee constituted to look into the financial and procurement process at the Kenya power and Lighting Company in which Gichuru was adversely mentioned and sought to have his name expunged from the report. Justice Koome gave a dissenting decision from the two who quashed the report and had Gichuru’s name expunged. In light of that his client is apprehensive that the judge may be biased against him.

The application for recusal is unjustified as the circumstances are different. Perception should be objective, and in the present case a reasonable man, considering the circumstances of the two cases would not come to the conclusion of biases.

“The application is a side show and the judge has recused herself,” ruled the bench.

The duo are to face charges relating to money laundering in Jersey Island.

Ends……..

Monday 25 July, 2016, NAIROBI, BY HILARY MONGERA
ODPP COMMUNICATIONS