NAIROBI Kenya, Feb 6 – Lawyer Tom Ojienda is now one of the Law Society of Kenya representatives to the Judicial Service Commission (JSC), after beating Ahmednasir Abdullahi, in a closely fought race on Thursday.
Ojienda polled 1,689 votes against Abdullahi’s 1,445 votes while Okong’o Omogeni garnered 548 votes.
Eric Mutua easily retained the post of LSK chairman, polling 2,543 votes against his closest rival Charles Kanjama, with 740. Ambrose Weda emerged third with 530 votes from 33 polling centres.
As the votes were still being tallied, Abdullahi tweeted: “The people have spoken. I congratulate Tom Ojienda as our representative in the JSC. My projection is he wins with about 300 more votes.”
He later tweeted that he had called Ojienda and congratulated him on his victory.
“I thank my team throughout the country for their splendid effort. Thank you all and God’s blessing.”
He then called on all lawyers “and especially my supporters to fully support Tom Ojienda as our new JSC representative.”
Kanjama too conceded defeat saying “before I am embarrassed further”. He said the LSK elections conducted by the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) were “free and fair”.
Kanjama said he was ready to support Mutua as he takes on his second term; a first in the history of the LSK. Mutua was re-elected together with his vice chair Lilian Awour.
Awour garnered 2,061 votes followed closely by her sole rival Faith Waguthi who got 1,738 votes.
Mutua said there was not time for a ‘honeymoon’ as he was committed to tackle the enormous challenges facing lawyers and the members of the public.
“God has come through for us. I’m surprised pleasantly that lawyers have come out and showed the Republic of Kenya that this is a professional body and it’s a body that vote on merits and not political inclination,” he said.
“I have been able to lead in 31 polling stations out of 33. That shows that the entire country was looking at the best person.”
“I want to pledge again that in my council there will be no Jubilee, no CORD. We are only going to have one professional body,” he assured.
He said he was focused on building the society even more for them to perform their mandates better.
He also took time to assure his colleagues in the profession that he will continue fighting for their welfare.
Ojienda also assured the country that his win was for the benefit of all.
Ojienda who steps into shoes of the ‘Grand Mullah’ said he will ensure he fights for the independence of the Judiciary.
“I go into the Judicial Service Commission as the LSK representative when it faces challenges of judicial independence. Have no doubt, that you can rely on me as your legal representatives, to speak for the society on both difficult matters that touch on the independence of the profession,” he affirmed.
IEBC’s returning officer said certificates will be issued later while results for other positions will be released on Friday.