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NAIROBI, Kenya, Feb 27 – National Assembly Speaker Justin Muturi on Tuesday found a petition seeking the removal of Chief Justice David Maraga and 6 others from the Judicial Service Commission inadmissible.
Muturi found the petition to be “fatally flawed” first and foremost, for its inclusion of the Chief Justice.
“The office of the Chief Justice and that of the Chairperson of the JSC are joined at the hip. A person desirous of removing the Chairperson of the JSC from office must necessarily seek for his or her removal as the Chief Justice,” Muturi explained.
He went ahead to cite Article 168 of the Constitution which provides the procedure for the removal of a Chief Justice and which stipulates that it is an end that can only be accomplished through a petition to the JSC or through its own motion.
He also found Advocate Adrian Njenga’s petition to Parliament flawed on the grounds that the complaints raised failed to meet the exacting standards required; being amorphous in nature.
“The petition is couched in corporate terms. The particulars provided… omnibus grounds,” he found.
He also found that given the nature of the complaints raised, the proper forum through which to ventilate them would be courts of law given the constitutional violations cited by the petitioner.
“I wish to caution members of the public that Parliament is not a place to settle constitutional grievances without first adhering to the very same Constitution that they seek to rely on. Consequently, a judge or complainant aggrieved by any administrative action taken or not taken by the JSC has an adequate remedy in judicial review before the courts.”
His pronouncement has been met with a rare show of support from both sides of the House with both the Majority Leader Aden Duale and Minority Leader John Mbadi voicing their agreement with the Speaker’s assessment.
“These are petitions that can go to the Bunge la Wananchi. This one has nothing to do with the famous quote of revisit. When we intend to revisit we’ll revisit with a serious petition. Researched.”
On Monday, Njenga petitioned the National Assembly for the removal of seven Judicial Service Commissioners who also include the Deputy Chief Justice Philomena Mwilu; accusing them of being grossly incompetent.