The murder case of businesswoman Monica Kimani involving former Citizen TV news anchor Jacque Maribe and Joseph Irungu alias Jowie finally came to a close after six years.
In the judgment delivered on Friday, February 9, Lady Justice Grace Nzioka acquitted Maribe of all the charges while Jowie was found guilty of the murder.
Aside from the ruling, observers were, however, quick to find interest in Justice Nzioka, who was at the centre of the case.
During the court proceedings, Kenyans online pointed out Nzioka’s delivery of the judgment, lauding her for her prowess and mastery of the law.
Former Citizen TV news anchor Jacque Maribe (left) and Joseph Irungu alias Jowie at Milimani Law Courts in Nairobi on February 9, 2024.
“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.
Nzioka’s reading of the judgment received praise from most Kenyans, who lauded her for poise and eloquence.
“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.
However, little is known about the Justice who has been at the centre of the case since its onset.
In 2013, Justice Nzioka was the victim of a robbery incident case as she was carjacked and kidnapped in her Karen home in Nairobi.
The judge was driving into her compound when she was confronted by five armed men who took her hostage.
Reports indicated that she was forced into her house as the armed men stole several items including documents, a laptop, a television set and other electronics.
It is reported that the armed men took Justice Nzioka and her husband hostage and drove them out of their compound into the Dagoretti area where they withdrew over Ksh40,000 from their ATM accounts.
Moments later, the two were abandoned in the Kangemi area.
Police officers investigating the case sought to determine why the judge’s bodyguards were unarmed at the time of the incident.
The officers also sought to investigate whether the incident was related to her work. At the time, she chaired a commission investigating the Tana River clashes that had claimed more than 160 lives and displaced thousands of people.
Justice Nzioka has since been involved in several high-profile cases including the Ksh1.5 billion case involving former Cabinet Secretary Raphael Tuju in which she recused herself, citing that she was unable to proceed with the case and directed that the matter be mentioned before the presiding judge of the Commercial Division.
In September 2022, she was moved from Nairobi to the High Court in Naivasha by Chief Justice Martha Koome, following changes made after the elevation of six Court of Appeal Judges.
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.
An image of a legal scale and a gavel.