Profile Of Lady Justice Grace Nzioka Who Was Almost Fired
On Friday, February 9, the country's attention was turned to her at the Milimani Law Courts in Nairobi as she delivered the highly-anticipated ruling in the murder case of businesswoman Monica Kimani
Did you know that Lady Justice Grace Nzioka was almost fired from her job? We'll get to that in a few.
On Friday, February 9, the country's attention was turned to her at the Milimani Law Courts in Nairobi as she delivered the highly-anticipated ruling in the murder case of businesswoman Monica Kimani involving former Citizen TV news anchor Jacque Maribe and Joseph Irungu alias Jowie, after six seemingly dreadful years.
Maribe and Jowie were accused of participating in the murder of Kimani, who was killed at her apartment on September 19, 2018. While Maribe walked scot-free...for now...Jowie was found guilty of the murder.
Other than the ruling, observers who were mostly following the proceedings on TV and posting live updates about it on social media remarked on Justice Nzioka's fearless conveyance of context, explanations and narrations, showcasing a judicial officer who did her homework in the legal field.
Former Citizen TV Anchor Jacque Maribe and Jowie Irungu in court on Friday, February 9, 2024. /ALINUR MOHAMED
"I assure you that I have analysed all submissions and evidence. I can read this judgment for six hours without a paper in my hand," Justice Nzioka stated with gusto.
Nzioka's delivery of the judgment mesmerised Kenyans, who lauded her for not just her poise and eloquence but also her non-biasness in delivering the judgment, with many claiming that she reached grandmaster levels in a field known for the heaviest English and Latin words and phrases ever!
"I like the eloquent, composed, and articulate nature of Justice Grace Nzioka. She's reading the judgment from her head. I am sure even Joseph Irungu Jowie, former Citizen TV news anchor Jacque Maribe, and the family of late businesswoman Monica Kimani like how she is doing it," Alinur Mohamed stated.
"I love the poise, eloquence, and clarity that Justice Grace Nzioka is delivering her judgment as if the words flow directly from her mind. It's captivating —Joseph Irungu Jowie, former Citizen TV news anchor Jacque Maribe, and even the family of the late businesswoman Monica Kimani," Mumbi added.
Viral Tea takes a look at the Lady Justice's profile:
Lady Justice Nzioka Profile & Cases Handled
Justice Nzioka has been involved in several high-profile cases including the Ksh1.5 billion case involving former Cabinet Secretary Raphael Tuju.
Here, she recused herself, citing that she could not continue with the case and directed that the matter be mentioned before the presiding judge of the Commercial Division.
In another case, three lawyers, including a former commissioner of the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC), were ordered to appear in court over the spending of Ksh1.8 billion received on behalf of 2,000 retrenched employees of Telkom Kenya Ltd.
Justice Nzioka however declined to strike out the case and froze the bank accounts of the involved parties pending further investigation.
In another significant case, Beatrice Mwende's defence that she was possessed by demons when she killed her four children was dismissed by the High Court. Justice Nzioka sentenced her to life in prison, citing mental tests that indicated she was of sound mind during the offences.
In another case, Justice Nzioka ordered prominent lawyer Ambrose Rachier to pay Ksh80 million to an investor for failure to honour a professional undertaking. Despite Rachier's denial, the judge ruled in favour of the investor, emphasizing Rachier's obligation to indemnify the loss incurred due to his client's default.
Old photo of Lady Justice Grace Nzioka. /STANDARD DIGITAL
In September 2022, she was moved from Nairobi to the High Court in Naivasha by Chief Justice Martha Koome, following changes made after six Court of Appeal Judges were elevated.
Aside from handling judicial matters, Justice Nzioka has in the past, advocated for the rights of the disadvantaged in society. In November 2023, she advocated for a child protection unit at various stations to deal with the backlog of minor cases.
She noted that over 150 criminal cases were handled at Naivasha Police Station, adding that the Judiciary was keen on reducing the backlog.
Justice Nzioka's Job Under Threat
In 2013, the Judges and Magistrates Vetting Board declared Justice Nzioka and two magistrates unfit to continue holding office, following complaints, including graft and delayed rulings.
Nzioka was accused of disrespecting advocates appearing before her, with the Board finding fault in her style and conduct which it claimed threatened the dispensation of justice to the public.
“The Judge failed to appreciate that her conduct had a demeaning and negative impact on both dispensation of justice and litigants and their advocates,” board chairman Rao said.
“There was a lack of introspection and appreciation of the effect of her inappropriate style and conduct,” he added.
She & Her Husband Robbed
In 2013, Justice Nzioka fell victim to robbery as she was carjacked and kidnapped in her Karen home in Nairobi while driving into her compound. Five armed men surrounded her and took her hostage.
Reports indicated that she was forced into her house as the armed men ransacked several items including documents, a laptop, a television set and other electronics.
It is reported that the armed men then took Justice Nzioka and her husband hostage and threw them out of their compound into the Dagoretti area where they withdrew over Ksh40,000 from their ATM accounts before abandoning the couple in Kangemi.
Police officers investigating the case raised questions as to the judge's bodyguards being unarmed at the time of the incident, and they also sought to investigate whether the incident was linked to her career.
At the time, she chaired a commission investigating the Tana River clashes that had claimed more than 160 lives and displaced thousands of people.