NAIROBI, Kenya, Dec 25 – National Assembly Majority Leader Aden Duale says he will not be intimidated from presenting a notice of motion to discuss the conduct of Justice George Odunga in Parliament in January next year.
This follows censure by the Law Society of Kenya, Chief Justice David Maraga and CORD principals over his criticism of Justice Odunga.
Duale stated on social media that the Constitution under Article 94 gives him the legislative powers to file a motion to discuss the conduct of a sitting judge.
“I will be on record as the first Member of Parliament in independent Kenya who will bring a motion to discuss the conduct of a sitting judge,” he declared.
He indicated that as per the Standing Order 87, he intends to give notice of motion to discuss the conduct of Judge Odunga when house resumes in January 2017.
He reiterated that any citizen can petition the Judicial Service Commission for the removal of the CJ or any other judge as per the constitution.
“I would also want to remind CJ @dkmaraga that any citizen can petition the JSC for his removal or any other judge as per the constitution.”
Chief Justice David Maraga said judges must be allowed to discharge their duties independently even when controversies and disputes arise.
He made the statement after Duale criticised High Court Judge Odunga over some of his rulings.
Maraga said judges will continue to discharge their mandate fairly, impartially and firmly.
He asked the Leader of Majority to stop what he terms as “public lynching of judges” saying all Arms of Government must work within the framework of mutual respect and constitutionalism.
The Chief Justice praised Justice Odunga saying he, “has been a major factor of transformation of Kenya’s Judiciary and the International respect and acclaim the institution has continued to draw, has been, in part, contributed to by Justice Odunga’s decisions and conduct.”
Justice Odunga has made several rulings that have overturned government positions for example during the controversial security amendments, where he dismissed a number of clauses as unconstitutional.
LSK President Isaac Okero had also described the move as unwarranted, a threat on the independence of the Judiciary and integrity of the judge, and an abuse of parliamentary privilege.
Okero noted that Odunga holds an important constitutional office as a judge and a member of the Judiciary and that his independence is protected by article 160 (1) of the constitution.