Millions of shillings in form of cash bail, title deeds and log books deposited as surety and yet to be collected from Bondo law courts years after conclusion of cases, could be handed over to Unclaimed Financial Assets Authority (UFAA) by July this year.
Bondo Senior Principal Magistrate (SPM) John Nandi said some of the unclaimed documents and money have been lying in the court since 1995.
Speaking during Bondo law court open day event, Nandi disclosed that it has been difficult for the court to reach the owners of the unclaimed assets and could be forced to handover the assets to UFAA by the end of the financial year.
Nandi urged individuals or relatives of individuals who had concluded cases to turn up and claim their assets saying they would be assisted even if they lost receipts.
“I know the challenge has been lack of information by members of the public and that is why today we are having open day to educate the masses about what is happening in the courts. Some may have lost receipts or some may have died but if any of their relatives show up, they would be assisted to claim whatever was deposited,” Nandi explained.
The SPM further disclosed that Bondo law courts have adopted the use of technology not only to improve service delivery in courts but also to communicate to their clients which would prevent future incidences of unclaimed assets lying in courts for years after cases are concluded.
He said that through the use of technology, the accused does not have to be physically present in court to answer charges unless when required adding that the online platform allows the accused to submit documents without having to travel to the court in Bondo.
The Magistrate on the other hand disclosed that the adoption of Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) mechanism has helped reduce backlog of cases in Bondo courts and improved efficiency.
He said that up to 30 per cent of cases in Bondo courts have been resolved through ADR over the last two years.
Area Assistant Deputy County Commissioner Mr Michael Too asked members of the public to embrace the judicial system and shun the habit of withdrawing cases in court before they are concluded.
Too said most Gender Based Violence cases failed because the victims do not want to proceed with the matter and sometimes do not turn up in court to give evidence, an issue he said encourages perpetrators to commit crime.
The administrator asked the court and the lawyers offering legal services in Bondo town to take their services to the people in the villages and educate them during chief barazas about the services they offer instead of only focusing on the town centers.
By Brian Ondeng