Kisumu Chief Magistrate Julius Ngarngar has disqualified himself from hearing Nandi Governor Stephen Sang’s case over the destruction of tea bushes at Kibwari tea estate in Nandi hills.
The magistrate recused himself citing conflict of interest.
Referring the case to another court on Tuesday, Ngarngar said he had a close relationship with the Governor.
Resident Magistrate Beryl Omollo took over the case and is expected to make her ruling at 3.00pm.
On Monday, Sang obtained court orders from Eldoret High Court barring police from arresting him in connection with the destruction of property in his county.
However, he spent the night in police cells after police said they did not receive orders to free him.
He was arrested on Monday afternoon shortly after he surrendered and recorded statements with the Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI) at Kapsabet.
The police bundled him into a police vehicle and drove off to Kisumu as officers lobbed teargas to disperse irate supporters who had gathered at the station.
Sang, armed with a power saw, was caught on camera cutting down tea bushes planted on the land said to have been grabbed by individuals.
The governor said that he was acting on complaints from members of the public who decried that the four acres of land reserved for the establishment of public utilities had been grabbed.
“Acting on the complaints from the public and having established ownership of the land held by the county in trust of the public, today I led the community in the recovery of four acres of land, reserved for the establishment of public utilities,” he noted.
At some point, the governor was captured roughing up a man at the tea plantations.
The residents who watched the events burst into song and dance to celebrate what they termed as a victory for the majority who they say had been barred from accessing the land.