, NAIROBI, Kenya, Nov 30- The Law Society of Kenya on Tuesday defended the credibility of its nominee Ahmednasir Abdullahi to serve in the Judicial Service Commission saying he has a clean track record.
LSK Chairman Kenneth Akide argued that Parliament had no legal authority to turn down Mr Abdullahi’s appointment as he was chosen by the statutory lawyers’ body in the country in accordance with the law.
He said questions surrounding his integrity could only be investigated by the Kenya Anti Corruption Commission or the police.
“If we conduct a second election, (he) will still be elected so in our view it does not matter whether or not Parliament accepts our selection. And if it does purport to reject, because it can’t reject, we will go to court to seek a constitutional interpretation,” he said.
He further maintained that LSK had properly vetted Mr Abdullahi who was chosen alongside Ms Florence Mwangangi adding that the affidavit with the extortion claims was not anywhere in his report.
“There were no complaints against Mr Abdullahi anywhere… not in his report… not even in the Advocates’ Complaints Commission. These concerns were first heard in Parliament and their timing is highly suspicious,” he said.
Mr Akide explained that the stand taken by the lawmakers over its chosen candidate created room for the manipulation and interference of the Judiciary.
“What do you think it means when a committee says it will make suitable recommendations about you in Parliament yet you will be sitting to employ judges? Unless the body that is going to appoint is independent, we can’t be certain that the appointees will be independent,” he said.
He also accused the legislators of ignoring timelines set for the implementation phase of the new Constitution.
“We expect that this Constitution is going to be implemented to the letter and faithfully. Delays create anxieties in the country so we feel there is need for Parliament and the two principals to live up to Kenyans’ expectations,” he said.
While making reference to the dismissal by Parliament of the nominees to the Commission on the Implementing of the Constitution as well as the one on Revenue Allocation, Mr Akide explained that Parliament had breached Article 171 of the Constitution.
He argued that the names of the elected nominees from the LSK had been out in the public domain for a while yet no one had raised any questions against them.
He further asked the two principals to downsize the Cabinet and reduce its numbers to 25.
“We know that this will be a long shot but we believe that it is the right way to go. Otherwise the price of the new Constitution will be lost,” he explained.
Mr Akide also called on the harmonisation of works between the Justice Ministry and the Attorney General to avoid duplication of roles which could cause conflict.
“It’s like there’s a tag-of-war between Justice Minister Mutula Kilonzo and Attorney General Amos Wako and this has to stop because it ends up confusing Kenyans. The roles of each of these organs should be clearly spelt out,” explained Mr Akide.