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NAIROBI, Kenya, Feb 26 – An advocate by the name of Adrian Njenga has petitioned the National Assembly for the removal of Chief Justice David Maraga, Deputy Chief Justice Philomena Mwilu and five others from the Judicial Service Commission.
Njenga argues that the 7 have proven to be incompetent and guilty of gross misconduct and therefore wants the National Assembly to forward the petition to the President for the constitution of a tribunal to investigate the complaints raised therein.
Apart from Maraga and Mwilu, the petitioner also wants Judicial Service Commissioners Mohamed Warsame, Aggrey Muchelule, Tom Ojienda, Emily Ominde and Mercy Deche removed.
He has given as the basis for his petition, what he views as a failure by the Commission to satisfactorily investigate complaints made against Maraga, Mwilu, Supreme Court judge Isaac Lenaola and Justice John Mativo of the High Court.
“The aforesaid members of the JSC have seriously violated the Constitution by shielding, protecting, exonerating and irregularly clearing judges engaged in gross misconduct,” while “selectively victimising” others, the petitioner contends.
He has accused them of unfairly, overzealously pursuing complaints against Supreme Court judge Jackton Ojwang and Justices Paul Kihara, Erastus Githinji, Martha Koome and Fatuma Sichale of the Appellate court.
The Appellate court judges being under investigation for their late night ex-parte suspension of a judgment delivered by High Court Judge George Odunga on the eve of the October 26 fresh presidential poll; Odunga having found the appointment of Returning Officers and their deputies to have been irregular.
Njenga has also put forward as proof of their incompetence, the understaffing of the Appellate Court leading to its inefficient running. “Effectively, the cited JSC Commissioners have crippled the administration of justice at the various Court of Appeal stations (Nairobi, Kisumu, Nyeri, Malindi).”
In the aftermath of the Supreme Court’s annulment of the August 8 Presidential Election, Ngunjiri Wambugu petitioned the JSC for the removal of Maraga before withdrawing it.
Another petition followed, this time calling into question the integrity and independence of Mwilu and Lenaola.
The ruling party has on two occasions, written to Chief Justice Maraga accusing High Court judge George Odunga of partiality in the first instance and Luka Kimaru, in the second.
The Chief Justice did not take too kindly to the first missive; taking issue with the ruling party’s verbal assault on the institution.