, NAIROBI, Kenya, Oct 16 – The Chief Registrar of the Judiciary Gladys Boss Shollei will now start her defence before the Judicial Service Commission on Friday, after the commission dismissed her objections.
Shollei appeared before the JSC in a closed-door meeting on Wednesday and raised objections which among other things sought to determine whether the JSC had any jurisdiction to summon her.
A statement from her lawyer Donald Kipkorir indicated that the Registrar had argued that she was only answerable to Parliament, the Auditor General, Public Procurement Oversight Authority (PPOA) and the Ethics and Anti Corruption Commission (EACC).
“As the Accounting Officer of the Judiciary and under The Constitution and The Public Finance Management Act, she is only answerable to Parliament, and other statutory bodies. The power of JSC in disciplining the CRJ is therefore only residual and on referral from the statutory bodies,” he stated.
He also indicated that Shollei is entitled to an impartial hearing, right to administrative action and right to legitimate expectation in a judicial process.
He pointed out that the right to public hearing which she is also entitled to must meet the minimum threshold for administrative action.
“The JSC held that they have jurisdiction and that they will act as a corporate body and therefore personal bias or impartiality will not arise. They also held that the proceedings are disciplinary and will continue being held in camera. JSC however didn’t state what provisions of the law gave them jurisdiction or what law underpins the now alleged disciplinary process,” he said.
He indicated that following these objections, the hearing was rescheduled to Friday this week where Shollei will present her defence to what is now described as a disciplinary process.
She is expected to defend herself over claims of financial impropriety and demonstrate that the procurement processes leading up to the leasing of offices at Elgon Place and Rahimtulla, were above board.
This will be the second time Shollei will be defending herself against the corruption charges that saw her sent on compulsory leave in August.
The first time was before the National Assembly’s Justice and Legal Affairs Committee eight weeks ago in testimony that brought to light divisions within the Judiciary and called into question its commitment to reforms.
In the interim response she submitted to the JSC earlier in the month, Shollei made it clear that while willing to answer questions raised by the JSC, she had no obligation to do so.
She submitted that the law clearly stipulates that on matters of procurement, she is answerable directly to the PPOA. (SEE related storyhttp://www.capitalfm.co.ke/news/2013/10/im-the-authority-on-judiciary-finances-shollei/)
Similarly, in matters of financial management she state that she could only answer directly to the National Assembly through the Internal Auditor General at the National Treasury.