Chief Magistrate Francis Andayi shot to fame, or rather infamy, in January last year, after he released controversial Embakassi East Member of Parliament Babu Owino on bail that could be paid in installments, after the legislator was charged with attempted murder following the alleged shooting of Felix Orinda, a disk jockey popularly known as DJ Evolve in a Nairobi nightclub.
A year later and the Magistrate has resurfaced with another unusual ruling that is expected to not only cause controversy, but also question his suitability as an arbiter in high profile cases that require deep deliberation.
In a case involving a Kenyan and a Nigerian who are accused of conning an Italian national 20 million shillings using non-existent gold, the Magistrate released them on a paltry 600, 000 shillings bail.
Gideon Nuka Gbaravopnu and Seth Steve Okute are accused of conning the foreigner of USD 185,000.
Appearing before Chief Magistrate Francis Andayi at the Milimani law courts, the two were charged with obtaining money by false pretense.
The charge sheet stated that the two accused persons obtained the money from an Italian man named Lewis Ikena on diverse dates between January 1st, 2021, and April 30th, 2021.
They pretended to be in a position to facilitate the transfer of 2000 kilograms of gold for sale in Dubai, the United Arab Emirates (UAE).
The money was obtained at DTB Bank Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (JKIA) branch, according to the charge sheet.
The two pleaded not guilty to the charges leveled against them and were released on a cash bail of Sh600,000 each.
Even as his latest ruling is likely to cause an uproar, it will be remembered that last year, when the DPP appealed against his ruling, Magistrate Andayi disqualified himself from the attempted murder case against Embakasi East MP Babu Owino, saying that the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) Noordin Haji had made a complaint to the judicial service review over a ruling he had issued.