JSC: Suspend Baraza, probe her conduct

NAIROBI, Kenya, Jan 13 – NAIROBI, Kenya, Jan 13 – The Judicial Service Commission (JSC) has resolved to send a petition to President Mwai Kibaki to suspend Deputy Chief Justice Nancy Baraza following her confrontation with a security guard at a shopping mall in Nairobi.

Chief Justice Willy Mutunga announced that the JSC would also ask the president to form a tribunal to investigate her conduct.

“After lengthy deliberations and review of evidence, the JSC has now resolved that it will send a petition to the president to suspend Nancy Baraza and to appoint a tribunal to investigate her,” Mutunga told journalists after getting a report from a JSC sub-committee formed to investigate the incident.

The decision was reached by the sub-committee which the CJ formed earlier in the week to investigate Baraza’s conduct and issues surrounding the incident that occurred at the Village Market shopping mall on New Year’s Eve.

A security guard, Rebecca Kerubo, accused the Deputy CJ of allegedly pinching her nose and threatening to shoot her when she pursued her to demand that she undergoes a routine security check.

“When I formed the sub-committee to investigate the matter, I pledged to deal with the matter conclusively but I noted that the police were probing the matter and I said that no one is above the law,” he said adding; “This was not a criminal trial.”

The president is now expected to appoint a tribunal within 14 days after receiving the petition from the JSC to suspend Baraza and act on the recommendations of the commission.

On Thursday, the Director of Public Prosecutions Keriako Tobiko was quoted by the Daily Nation saying that the evidence presented by the police on the incident had inconsistencies and contradictions that left crucial information to ascertain if Baraza was in the illegal possession of a gun and if she misused it.

He directed the police to carry out thorough investigations and give him a report within seven days, according to the newspaper.

The committee led by Rev Samuel Kobia reviewed CCTV footage recorded at the Village Market and took statements from 16 witnesses.

Mutunga said the committee did not consider a petition by David Gichira, explaining that it was devoid of any material substance to act upon.

Baraza was appointed DCJ in June 2011 after thorough scrutiny by the JSC and a parliamentary committee.

JUDIE KABERIA

JUDIE KABERIA

Judie, a Special Projects Reporter started practicing journalism in 2003. She has worked in Kenya and Germany. Judie has scooped awards in Reproductive Health, Population, Gender and Development. She has participated in international conferences in Germany, Switzerland and Netherlands. Judie has written a booklet, 'Justice and Peace in the Kenyan Eye'. She has a soft spot for human rights, crime, peace and justice stories. She has a Master's Degree in New Media, Governance and Democracy, University of Leicester (U.K).