NAIROBI, Kenya, Jun 5 – The High Court on Wednesday gave temporary reprieve to Justice Muga Apondi when it blocked his sacking as recommended by the Judges and Magistrates Vetting Board.
Justice Mumbi Ngugi directed the Judicial Service Commission not to de-degazette the appointment of the judge until a petition he has lodged in court is heard and determined.
The court further ordered that the judge should continue receiving allowances pending the determination of the suit he has filed challenging the decision of Sharad Rao-led board that found him unsuitable for office earlier this year.
Justice Ngugi said: “I am satisfied that it is in the interest of justice to grant the conservatory orders sought pending the hearing of the application inter-parties.”
She directed that the file be placed before the Chief Justice to appoint a bench that will hear and determine the constitutional issues raised by Justice Apondi.
Further orders will be given on June 20.
Lawyer Jeremy Okonjo representing Justice Apondi told the court that the judge would suffer irreparable damage if the decision of the board to declare him unsuitable is followed by his sacking.
The board had ruled that Apondi was insensitive and unprofessional in a murder case that he handled contrary to procedural judicial practice.
He was also accused of acting improperly by receiving an allocation of government land and immediately reselling it at more than 10 times the original cost.
The Judges and Magistrates Vetting Board dismissed the appeal lodged by the judge who sought for review after he was declared unfit.
His request for a review was turned down because he was unable to convince the board that he was suitable for office.