Lawyers fault ruling in Kotut case

Sunday November 23 2008

By KENNETH OGOSIA

A court ruling that expunged the name of former Central Bank of Kenya governor Eric Kotut from the recommendations of the Goldenberg Commission report has sounded a death knell to recommendations of all commissions formed since independence, lawyers observed on Sunday.

Lawyer C B G Ouma said the court ruling set a precedent that will be used to sabotage the recommendations of similar commissions, such as the Waki Commission of Inquiry into the post-election violence.

Mr Ouma said that although the court separated the functions of the Commission of Inquiry Act from the constitutional mandate of the police and Attorney General, the ruling is basically a sham.

“The Attorney General still has got powers to prosecute anybody so long as there is evidence and regardless of where it emanates. He has the powers to deal with information derived from the commissions or any other person who records a statement implicating suspects,” the lawyer said.

Confrontational

Nairobi lawyer Josphine Kuluo said it is a shock that the Kenyan judiciary was setting a confrontational trend with the executive, the legislature and the public at large with rulings which tend to abuse good governance, human rights and corruption.

“This idea that judges want to hold the process of change hostage and abet corruption of that magnitude only calls for radical surgery in that sector,” she said.

Condemnation for the ruling which cleared Mr Kotut of corruption charges has come from various areas.

Mr Isaac Njoroge, a development consultant, said that parliament should pass a vote of no confidence on the Kenyan judiciary as it is presently constituted and a more proactive one be formed.