- Chief magistrate Douglas Ogoti was moved to Embu effective October 11 as the head of the station.
- He was then transferred to Kisumu in February this year.
Former Nairobi Governor Evans Kidero has appealed to Chief Justice Martha Koome to allow chief magistrate Douglas Ogoti to conclude the hearing of the Sh213 million graft case facing him and eight others.
Ogoti has been presiding over the case since 2018 when the accused persons were first arraigned, but Kidero says his recent transfer to Kisumu is likely to affect the speedy conclusion of the case.
Ogoti was among the 84 magistrates affected by the re-organisation of the magistrates division announced by the registrar of magistrates courts Peter Mulwa in July 2021.
He was moved to Embu effective October 11 as the head of station.
He was then transferred to Kisumu last month.
Kidero says when Ogoti was initially transferred to Embu, the office of the CJ allowed him to conclude his outstanding matters in Nairobi, including his case.
He says it's only prudent that the same should follow suit now that he is in Kisumu.
In his letter addressed to the CJ, Kidero says the graft case is at an advanced stage with only one witness remaining before the prosecution closes its case.
The investigating officer who is on the stand was scheduled to finalise her part beginning March 7, but the same has stalled owing to the new developments in the case.
"It has come to our attention that the trial magistrate has now been transferred to Kisumu. Our client is reasonably apprehensive that the transfer of the trial magistrate is likely to affect and delay his fundamental right to a fair hearing and expeditious conclusion of the trial," reads the letter drawn by Prof Tom Ojienda, Kidero’s advocate.
"We humbly request the intervention of the office of the Chief Justice to grant permission and give direction that the trial magistrate Douglas Ogoti do conclude and finalise the trial of this matter."
The CJ is yet to respond to the letter. The letter is dated February 23.
The matter was mentioned before magistrate Victor Wakhumile who directed the matter to be mentioned on April 20, to confirm if the CJ has responded and for further directions.
In the case, Kidero has been charged together with former chief officers in his administration, with conspiracy to commit an offence of corruption, namely fraud leading to the loss of public funds in the sum of Sh213,327,300 for services not rendered.
Other charges include conspiracy to commit an offence of corruption, abuse of office, fraudulent acquisition of public property, dealing with suspect property, and unlawful failure to pay tax to a public body.