NAIROBI, Kenya, Sep 30 – The Law Society of Kenya (LSK) has given the Judicial Service Commission (JSC) to the end of the week to either clear, suspend or remove Chief Registrar of the Judiciary Gladys Shollei from office.
In the event that it does not, LSK Chairman Eric Mutua said the society will petition Parliament for the removal of the Judicial Service Commissioners from office.
Mutua said the protracted disciplinary proceedings have led to “side-shows” that have called the integrity of the Judiciary into question.
“As the Council of the Law Society there is no doubt in our mind that the Judicial Service Commission is guilty of misconduct but we need a decision immediately so that the Chief Registrar and probably any other party who is interested can take the necessary step. The Chief Registrar has a right to take action in terms of going to court to challenge any decision made by the Judicial Service Commission,” he put forth.
But even in its castigation of the JSC, LSK maintained that only the JSC is mandated to take disciplinary action against Shollei and asked her “sympathisers” to desist from interfering with the process.
Mutua also came to Chief Justice Willy Mutunga’s defence and asked Kenyans to hold off on passing judgment on him for allegedly leading a plot to force Shollei out of office.
He asked that investigators be allowed to establish whether or not the CJ’s email account was hacked into before the damning correspondence between him and five other judicial officers is held against him.
“Any person has a right to move and interrogate those emails with a view to establishing whether there’s a misconduct which can warrant removal from office but first you need to understand whether or not the contents were altered,” Mutua argued.
The aforementioned emails threw a spanner into already controversial investigations into Shollei’s conduct as the Chief Registrar of the Judiciary.
Before their emergence the JSC and Shollei were thought to have called a cease fire with Shollei being made aware of the corruption charges against her and being given 21 days to respond to them.
The commission had also agreed to exclude the commissioners she felt held a grudge against her from the investigation process but with the chairman of the JSC now implicated in the alleged conspiracy against her it remains to be seen what their next move will be.