Seasoned journalist Jeff Koinange who is seeking High Court to quash an arrest warrant issued against them for failing to appear for the hearing of a defamation suit filed by tycoon Jimmy Wanjigi. .
BY SAM ALFAN.
Seasoned journalist Jeff Koinange and controversial businessman Tony Gachoka want the High Court to quash an arrest warrant issued against them for failing to appear for the hearing of a defamation suit filed by tycoon Jimmy Wanjigi.
Mr Koinange and Mr Gachoka have filed a suit seeking to stop their arrest arguing that the Chief Magistrate’s Court issued the order unlawfully as it does not have the authority to hear and determine contempt of court cases. The two also claim they were never furnished with the court summons.
Senior Resident Magistrate Maisy Chesang ordered for their arrest last Thursday after they failed to appear in person for the hearing of a suit Mr Wanjigi filed against them. Mr Koinange and Mr Gachoka now say they risk being jailed over an irregularly issued court order and without a fair hearing.
“The Chief Magistrate’s court lacks jurisdiction to try, determine and punish for contempt. Ms Chesang issued the order on the face of record before court that Mr Koinange and Mr Gachoka had never been served with any court order,” the two said.
Mr Wanjigi had earlier sued Mr Koinange and Mr Gachoka in the lower court for allegedly linking his firm-Kwacha Group of Companies-to the Anglo-Leasing scandal that saw taxpayers lose over Sh50 billion in irregular contracts awarded by the government.
Mr Koinange and Mr Wanjigi are alleged to have uttered the defamatory statements in two different episodes-on May 15 last year and on March 12 and 13 this year.
The tycoon, his brother Sani and Kwacha are the complainants in the civil case before Ms Chesang. They claim Mr Koinange and Mr Gachoka used defamatory remarks against them in a talk show hosted on a local TV station.
They hold that Mr Koinange and Mr Gachoka do not deserve the court’s audience on the arrest order as they have on several occasions in the past frustrated the hearing of the suit before Ms Chesang.