Judge opts out of Raphael Tuju’s Ksh.1.6 billion debt case

Jubilee Secretary General Jubilee Party Secretary General Raphael Tuju. PHOTO| COURTESY

High Court judge Grace Nzioka has recused herself from hearing a case between Jubilee Party Secretary General Raphael Tuju and and East African Development Bank over a Ksh.1.6 billion debt.

“In the 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,” ruled Justice Nzioka.

Tuju had filed an application to have the judge disqualify herself on grounds that she has shown bias in favour of the East African Development Bank, an act he said was damaging his company, Dari Limited.

The East African Development Bank is demanding Ksh.1.6 billion from Tuju following a defaulted loan deal.

According to court documents, the bank says it advanced to Tuju a Ksh.932.7 million loan on July 31, 2015 and the debt has remained in default since 2017 when it fell due.

The loan was meant for the construction of 12 luxury homes sitting on a 20-acre forested land among other projects.

The development plan, however, fell behind schedule with Tuju blaming the bank for what he said was failure to provide additional millions for building the bungalows.

Judge Grace Nzioka in March this year allowed Tuju’s firm, Dari Limited, be placed under receivership over the Ksh.1.6 billion loan.

She, however, blocked the receiver managers from auctioning the Karen property said to be worth Ksh.1.8 billion, pending conclusion of the debt suit.

The bank had in December 2019 appointed receiver managers to manage Dari Ltd in Karen but Tuju opposed the move arguing that the takeover was a bid to frustrate his plan of repaying the debt.

Tuju is accused of breach of agreement and defaulting on the loan repayment.