Judge Recuses Self From Tuju's Ksh1.6 Billion Debt Case

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    Jubilee Party Secretary-General Raphael Tuju addresses journalists at Jubilee Headquarters, Thika Road in 2019
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  • High Court Judge Grace Nzioka on Tuesday, June 16, recused herself from a case pitting Jubilee Party Secretary-General Raphael Tuju and  East Africa Development Bank (EADB), over a Ksh1.6 billion loan.

    “In light of the ruling I delivered on this matter I am finding it personally unable to continue hearing this matter, and if I did not have clarity in my ruling. 

    "I am now taking this liberty to personally (without being moved by any party) to recuse myself from hearing this matter,” Justice Nzioka ruled.

    On March 3, Justice Nzioka read out a ruling that allowed EADB's appointed receivers namely, Muniu Thoithi & George Weru to take over the management of a 20-acre prime land in Karen and the luxurious Dari Restaurant.

    High Court Judge Grace Nzioka.
    High Court Judge Grace Nzioka.
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    Both the entities had been used by Tuju as security when he undertook the loan.

    However, she ordered the two EADB receivers not to sell off any properties owned by the firm in their attempt to recover the loan.

    "The company cannot be effectively run by both the directors and the receivers. Upon appointment, the receivers remain in force. They will not dispose of any assets under a debenture,” read her ruling in part.

    Judge Nzioka's decision to opt out of the case comes barely a week after the High Court directed that the ruling that allowed the bank’s receivers to take over Tuju's assets be argued afresh.  

    The case stems from a loan of Ksh900 million that Dari Limited (Tuju's company) had secured from EADB which later accrued a Ksh600 million in interest.

    In their defence, Tuju's lawyers, Paul Muite, Paul Nyamodi and Bridget Ndong, argued that the company had operated without cash for a while now and that it could not pay its employees since its accounts had been frozen.

    Following the ruling that effectively placed Tuju's prized assets under receivership, he went on to file an application to have Judge Nzioka disqualify herself on grounds that she has shown bias in favour of EADB. 

    The politician reportedly defaulted on the loan after the property market slowed down and property developers found it difficult to sell housing units.

    Reports further claimed that Dari limited took up the loan with the intention of constructing bungalows in the affluent Karen neighbourhood.

    Jubilee Party Secretary-General Raphael Tuju during a press briefing on January 9, 2019.
    Jubilee Party Secretary-General Raphael Tuju during a press briefing on January 9, 2019.
    File