In Summary
  • Mr Micheal Gichuru, a photographer in Karatina town, was sentenced in March by Nyeri High Court Deputy Registrar Damacline Bosibori after failing to pay lawyers that amount in legal costs.
  • He filed a judicial review application saying the entire process of committing him to civil jail was flawed and that the Sh9,518,972 million demanded from him was exorbitant.

A voter jailed for failing to pay legal costs of Sh9.5 million in the Mathira parliamentary election petition has been released pending hearing and determination of his appeal against the committal order.

Justice Jairus Ngaah has found Mr Michael Gichuru was unlawfully jailed and the committal order was issued prematurely by the High Court Deputy Registrar Ms Damacline Bosibori in Nyeri.

CIVIL JAIL

Mr Gichuru was sentenced to a one-month civil jail on March 18, this year by the registrar after MP Rigathi Gachagua’s lawyer Mr Wahome Gikonyo complained that he was yet to settle the costs of the petition as ordered on June 8, 2018.

But the 34-year-old photographer based in Karatina town, indicated that he did not deliberately disobey the order as he confessed that he could not afford the amount sought from him.

Through lawyers Sam Kinuthia and Evans Owange, the voter said before he could be committed to jail the MP would have demonstrated to the court that he has means to pay but had declined to do so.

“As a matter of fact, he could not pay his previous advocates- Rachier Amollo Advocates LLP- and this explains why they could not continue representing him,” noted Justice Ngaah.

The judge faulted the registrar, saying before issuing the committal order she would have satisfied herself that he has means to settle the entire decretal amount or a substantial part but has refused or neglected to pay the same.

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