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Former CJ Maraga reveals obstacles in fight against graft

Former Chief Justice David Maraga speaking at the 3rd EACC Anti Corruption Workshop for Media Practitioners

Former Chief Justice David Maraga has raised concerns over a worrying trend of Judicial Forum Shopping among litigants in a bid to defeat Justice of Anti Corruption laws.

Speaking at the 3rd EACC Anti Corruption Workshop for Media Practitioners the Chief Justice Emeritus says it is a culture that needs to be arrested immediately because suspects that are likely to be charged with offenses of corruption before the Anti Corruption Economic Crimes Court in Nairobi, the division tasked with dealing with such matters and instead opt to prefer high courts up country in pursuit of Conservatory orders thus hampering the fight against the vice.

Maraga says that if this trend is not tamed the Judicial Forum Shopping can be misconstrued by the public as a corruption scheme for defeating Justice and create an impression of judiciary protecting high profile corruption suspects.

Maraga added that such acts will also delay the disposal of such cases.

Maraga has urged EACC promptly engage the Chief Justice Martha Koome for a possible review of the applicable practice directions towards ensuring that all applicable applications related to corruption charges are handled by the high court division that is established for that purpose.

Further, Maraga says that similar applications in various courts across the country should be transferred to the said High court Division.

However Maraga emphasized that this does not mean that the Judges and Magistrates upcountry cannot deal with such matters but there should be fairness and orderliness in terms of handling such matters so that the courts will aid in discouraging such forum shopping.

The Judge of the Anti Corruption and Economic Crimes says that there should be a discussion around anticipatory bail because once you receive the orders it does not mean you will not be prosecuted.

One instance that came up is the recent case against Muranga Governor Mwangi wa Iria who is being investigated for allegedly being involved in a 140 million fraud probe.

The Former County boss was summoned by EACC to appear before it, however he obtained orders prohibiting the commission apprehending him.

The Commission, however, arrested the wife and and brother of Wa Iria but his lawyers secure orders of arresting his family members of relatives and it was dramatically flown from Muranga County to Nairobi in a helicopter.

EACC Dr David Oginde maintains that the is a growing concern over Lawyers, Accountants, Procurement Officers and other professional people colluding with criminals to misappropriate public funds.

Abdiaziz Hashim
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