IRREGULARLY REMOVED

Court reinstates 3 sacked Homa Bay PSB officials

Removed without a petition, accused of graft, which they denied.

In Summary

•The court also issued a permanent injunction against respondents blocking the three from their offices, removing veicles and other work essentials.

• Siting in Kisumu, the court said the three - Daniel Ogada (chairman) Collins Agutu (Secretary) and Tobias Odundo (member) - were irregularly removed from office.

Homa Bay Deputy Governor Hamilton Orata,county secretary Isaiah Ogwe and Governor Cyprian Awiti at the county offices headquarter in Homa Bay town.
REINSTATED: Homa Bay Deputy Governor Hamilton Orata,county secretary Isaiah Ogwe and Governor Cyprian Awiti at the county offices headquarter in Homa Bay town.
Image: ROBERT OMOLLO

The Labour Relations Court on Friday reiareinstated three members of the Homa Bay County Public Service who were sacked a year ago.

The court sitting in Kisumu concluded the three board members - Daniel Ogada (chairman) Collins Agutu (Secretary) and Tobias Odundo (member) - were irregularly removed.

Trouble started in the board in November 2019 after Homa Bay MCAs recommended to Governor Cyprian Awiti to sack the three over claims of graft and misuseof office. They denied the claims.

The sacked trio sought legal redress in court.

They sued the Homa Bay County Assembly, the county government and Governor Cyprian as the first, second and third respondents, respectively.

On Friday, Justice Nduma Nderi ruled  sacking the three was against the law.

Nderi faulted the county assembly for commencing removal of the board members without a petition presented by a person in accordance with the law.

“The authority of the county assembly to start removal of the Public Service Board members only comes into operation upon a person presenting a petition. The unilateral decision by the county assembly to proceed with the removal violated the petitioners’ right to administration of justice and fair trial,” Nderi ruled.

He also ruled the county government and the governor lack authority to discipline or remove the members of the county Public Service Brom office.

The county government and the governor were also barred from appointing anybody to replace the three board members.

“The respondents, their agents or servants are barred from removing the petitioners from office,” the judge ordered.

The court issued a permanent injunction restraining all the respondents from blocking the three from accessing their offices.

“The respondents are also barred from taking away the trio’s vehicles, tools of trade, staff or in any way interfering with their efforts in exercising their duties as members of the Public Service Board,” Nderi ruled.

The three affected will include Elijah Kodo, Lawrence K’ Oteng’ and Sarah Nekesa.

(Edited by V.Graham)

The Homa Bay County Public Service Bard offices closed in Homa Bay town on October 17.
CLOSED: The Homa Bay County Public Service Bard offices closed in Homa Bay town on October 17.
Image: ROBERT OMOLLO