Why judges recused themselves from Karua appeal - Daily Nation

Why 2 judges withdrew from Karua petition against Waiguru

Tuesday July 24 2018

A combined picture of former Devolution

A combined picture of former Devolution minister Anne Waiguru and Narc Kenya leader Martha Karua. PHOTOS | NATION MEDIA GROUP 

By JOSEPH WANGUI
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Two Appellate judges have withdrawn from a petition challenging election of Kirinyaga Governor Anne Waiguru.

Justices Fatuma Sichale and Sankale Ole Kantai cited their close relationship with NARC Kenya party leader Martha Karua.

The judges said they were uncomfortable hearing Ms Karua’s appeal seeking to overturn High Court’s decision to uphold Ms Waiguru’s election.

While sitting at the Court of Appeal in Nyeri on Tuesday, Justice Sichale informed the presiding judge William Ouko of her close ties with Ms Karua.

 She said her friendship with Ms Karua dates back to decades ago when they were together at the Federation of Women Lawyers-Kenya.

Justice Kantai said he knew Ms Karua when she was practicing as an advocate and they became close friends when she was the Justice and Constitutional Affairs minister in Mwai Kibaki’s government.

During the short session, the judges said their presence would create a perception of bias.

The appeal was coming up for directions on hearing.

The judges explained their intention for recusal immediately Ms Karua’s lead counsel Gitobu Imanyara introduced the lawyers prosecuting the petition.

Lawyers Kamotho Waiganjo and Paul Nyamodi appeared for Governor Waiguru and her deputy, Mr Peter Ndambiri, while lawyer Joe Kathungu appeared on behalf of the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission.