What you need to know:
We have men and women in our court system who connive with drug traffickers kidnap, beat, and murder, all the time sitting at the bench pretending to dispense justice?
What is scarier, however, is that over a week after it became known that the identities of the said kidnappers, and murderers in robes could soon be made public, we are yet to witness any resignations.
On Tuesday October 30, a good man died.
John Gakuo practically died in prison though he was neither serving a life sentence nor was he on death row. He died simply because a judge made a fatal error of judgement and denied him an opportunity to receive adequate medical attention despite the former Nairobi City chief executive and his legal team begging him to do so.
The good old judge will have to live with that truth that a decision he made in partial pursuit for justice actually led to a person losing his most basic right, the right to life. But, by all indications, the decision was made without any malice and hence the result, though unfortunate, can rightly be accepted to have been accidental. So is the pursuit of justice.
On the same day Mr Gakuo died, some two young people, an aspiring couple for that matter, got different servings of justice despite facing the same charge in a court of law in the city. Journalist Jacque Maribe got a reprieve in court when she finally got released on bail after over a month in custody.
Her fiancé, Joseph Irungu with whom they are jointly charged with the murder of another youngster, Monica Kimani, wasn’t lucky. He was denied bail and will have to stay in the cold cells of remand prison before the hearing of the case begins.
In denying Mr Irungu liberty, the presiding judge also cited very unflattering definition of the variously claimed security expert that left the social media boiling for some days. That, however, is the nature of justice. They say it cuts back and forth, and for the Maribe-Irungu pair, it seems to have come true.
A few days earlier, the same scenario had played out in another court. Some three co-accused individuals saw one of them walk to temporary freedom while the other two remained locked up despite facing charges for the same offence.
Migori Governor Okoth Obado was released on bail while his co-accused Michael Oyamo – his personal assistant – and Caspal Obiero – a clerk at the county – were locked up till further notice. Compelling reasons were given for this decision as well and, though it might be painful to some quarters, there is consensus that justice is indeed in progress. The wheels of justice are turning as they should at least for these cases that have attracted great public interest.
But it is from New York that the news that should be shaking our Judiciary came.
On October 26, the country woke up to information that three compatriots shipped to the United States to face charges of dealing in narcotics had literally undressed senior judges back home in some confessions as they pleaded guilty to the charges.
According to the reports in the media, Baktash and Ibrahim Akasha had confessed under oath of having continually bribed Kenyan judges and policemen millions of shillings as inducement and appreciation for the role the law officers were playing in ensuring they (Akashas) and their partners in crime are not extradited.
And on that Friday, the reports said, the Americans were seeking to have the Kenyan judges, police and some lawyers join their benefactors abroad to face the law and, possibly, get jailed.
“Kenyan judges, prosecutors and law enforcement officers, accused of receiving hundreds of thousands of dollars in bribes from the Ibrahim Akasha crime family to frustrate their extradition to the United States to face drug charges, are at risk of indictment and prosecution on American soil. Top officials in Kenyan legal circles are also hoping that the Americans have cracked the drug dealers and that they will provide information on their associates in politics and government,” a report by the Daily Nation read.
“Not only did they manufacture and distribute narcotics for over two decades, they kidnapped, beat, and murdered others who posed a threat to their enterprise. When the brothers encountered legal interference, they bribed Kenyan officials — including judges, prosecutors and law enforcement officers,” it added.
Here is where my problem with the Judiciary becomes clear. We have men and women in our court system who connive with drug traffickers kidnap, beat, and murder, all the time sitting at the bench pretending to dispense justice?
That is a very scary realisation.
What is scarier, however, is that over a week after it became known that the identities of the said kidnappers, beaters and murderers in robes could soon be made public, we are yet to witness any resignations. The scariest bit is that the Judiciary has not officially commented on the expose.
What a shameless justice system!
Mr Cherambos comments on topical issues. [email protected]