NAIROBI, Kenya, May 14 – Three lawyers have been nominated for the post of the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) among them Keriako Tobiko who is the current holder of the office.
Lawyers Dorcas Oduor and Patrick Kiage were also nominated out of the 30 applicants for the job.
Chairman of the interviewing panel Francis Atwoli told a media conference at Harambee House on Saturday that the three met the high qualifications specified for the job.
"The panel reviewed 28 applications and listed 13. The 13 were then interviewed between the 12th and 14th of May and the three chosen," he said.
Mr Atwoli cited experience, professionalism, the drive for reform and integrity as the key factors that informed their choices.
"The most important thing were the qualifications and the knowledge, as you are aware we are in the reform process and we were looking for a person who will steer change to satisfy members of the public," he said.
Mr Atwoli said that the three lawyers had scored the highest points which will be made public once the list is handed to President Mwai Kibaki.
"The president is yet to receive the names so we are unable to release the points they scored," he emphasized
Among those who had applied included High Court Judge Nicholas Ombija, Deputy Public Prosecutor Oriri Onyango, former LSK Chairman Erick Okongo Omogeni, Kenneth Mwige of the Office of the Ombudsman as well as lawyers John Gacivih and Paul Mwangi.
President Mwai Kibaki\’s initial nominee to the position, Kioko Kilukumi opted out of the race
President Kibaki had nominated Mr Kilukumi alongside Professor Githu Muigai as Attorney General, Justice Alnashir Visram as the Chief Justice and William Kirwa for Director of Budget.
The President withdrew the nominations following objection by the Prime Minister Raila Odinga who claimed that he was not consulted before the President released the names to the National Assembly for approval and subsequent appointment.
At the same time a group of women activists also moved to the High Court and obtained orders blocking the President\’s nominees.
This forced the President to retreat and instead directed that the post of the DPP be recruited through Public Service Commission (PSC) who advertised for the position.
An interviewing panel was later constituted for the task, and it advertised the position soon after.
"It is notified for general information that the Interview Panel for the nomination of candidates to the Office of Director of Public Prosecutions established by H. E. the President vide Gazette Notice No.2649 of 16th March, 2011 held its first meeting on 4th April, 2011," the panel said in a statement.
COTU Secretary General Francis Atwoli was unanimously elected as the Interview Panel Chairperson.
The members of the Panel are: – the Attorney General Amos Wako and Permanent Secretaries Francis Kimemia (Internal Security), Amina Mohamed (Justice).
Others are Caroli Omondi, Principal Administrative Secretary/ Private Secretary, Office of the Prime Minister. Kenneth Akide Chairperson, Law Society of Kenya. Florence G. Kajuju Vice-Chairperson, Law Society of Kenya.