- Retired High Court Judge Justice Anyara Emukule said the people of Teso North, with the opening of the court will have access to justice.
- Nyaloti after opening the law courts said the investment will ensure residents of Teso North do not travel to Busia to attend court sessions.
The Malaba Law Courts in Teso North subcounty officially opened on Tuesday with six drivers arraigned after being accused of obstruction and overlapping.
The accused were arraigned at midday at the law courts located in Amagoro town.
All six were arrested along the busy Malaba-Bungoma highway on May 22, and May 23, court documents showed.
The six included Majibu Bonny, Ali Juma, Onesimus Mutisya, Jeremiah Mwangi, Simon Omondi and a Ugandan, Rogers Sande.
Majibu, Mutisya, Mwangi, Omondi and Sande did not deny the charges and were ordered by Busia chief magistrate Edna Nyaloti to pay a fine of Sh40,000 each or be jailed for 12 months.
Juma denied the charges and was ordered to pay a cash bail of Sh20,000 awaiting the mentioning of his case on June 19.
The six drivers, according to prosecutor Faith Kaberia, were first-time offenders.
Their pleas for clemency from chief magistrate Nyaloti did not bear fruit as they argued that they were breadwinners in their respective families and should be set free.
In other cases brought before the court, Geoffrey Esike and Fred Omodia from Kamolo village in Teso North subcounty were arraigned after being caught allegedly selling local brew popularly known as chang’aa.
According to the prosecution, the two were arrested by police dealing in the outlawed beer in Kamolo on May 23.
The two did not deny the charges and each was ordered to pay a fine of Sh5,000 or proceed to jail and serve a three months jail term.
Separately, Christiano Ipomai and Dauglas Barasa were arraigned before the new court after being accused of riding motorcycles without valid driving licences and insurance. The two were also accused of riding the bikes without helmets and reflector jackets.
The accused were arrested along the Malaba-Bungoma highway on May 23 and May 22 respectively.
Ipomai and Barasa, who were also first offenders were ordered by chief magistrate Nyaloti to pay a fine of Sh500 or be jailed for 10 days for the first offence as well as pay a fine of Sh5,000 or go to jail for three months for the second offence.
The chief magistrate in the third and fourth offences slapped the two accused persons with a fine of Sh500 each or a 10-day jail term and another Sh500 fine or a 10-day jail term for the fourth offence of riding motorcycles without reflector jackets.
Nyaloti after opening the law courts said the investment will ensure residents of Teso North do not travel to Busia to attend court sessions.
She said the Judicial Service Commission will post a chief magistrate to the law courts in July.
Prosecutor Faith Kaberia said the Malaba Law Courts, for a start, will operate once a week.
“This is because we still have fewer judicial personnel but starting July we will have a resident chief magistrate who will be here every day,” she said.
She said Teso North residents and the police will no longer be incurring unnecessary costs traveling to the Busia Law Courts.
“It is an engagement and we hope that the public will also give us maximum cooperation,” she said.
Retired High Court Judge Justice Anyara Emukule said the people of Teso North, with the opening of the court will have access to justice.
“Article 48 of the Constitution says that there should be access to justice for every citizen of this country and the opening of this court is a fulfillment of that provision of the Constitution,” Emukule said.
Teso North constituency manager Richard Opagala said the constituency NG-CDF office will liaise with the Ministry of Information and ICT to ensure the internet is installed at the law courts to facilitate the digitisation of the court’s operations.