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Chief Justice David Maraga, who heads the commission on Friday said a President-appointed Ombudsperson as proposed in the BBI will increase the number of executive appointments from four to five and will thus entrench executive influence on Judiciary/Judiciary Public Affairs/File

Kenya

Rights activist seeks CJ Maraga’s removal over misconduct

NAIROBI,Kenya, Jun 11 – An activist has petitioned the Judicial Service Commission (JSC) seeking the removal of Chief Justice David Maraga over gross misconduct.

In a petition dated June 10 , two days after Maraga’s public condemnation of President Uhuru Kenyatta’s refusal to appoint superior court judges recommended by the JSC, Timothy Odhiambo has implored the commission to institute proceeding for the removal of the top judge for making adverse allegations against the Head of State.

Odhiambo claims that Maraga’s adverse allegations against the Head of State amount to gross misconduct, misbehavior and a breach to the code of conduct for judges.

“The CJ not only breached the code of conduct prescribed for judges of the superior courts by an Act of Parliament but also amounts to gross misconduct and misbehaviour,” he states. 

The activist now wants the JSC to forward the petition to the President for further action under Article 168 of the  Constitution.

Maraga called out President Kenyatta over his refusal to appoint 41 judges recommended to him by the JSC in July 2019 insisting he is bound by the decision following a declaration by bench of three High Court judges that the “list is not subject to review or consideration”.

The CJ now attributes backlog of cases for lack of judges particularly in the Environment and Land Division stating that the earliest date a litigant could get is in 2022

However in a quick rejoinder, government’s chief legal advisor Attorney General Kihara Kariuki defended President Kenyatta saying he cannot be compelled  to ‘rubber stamp’ judges who have integrity issues.

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Instead, the AG blamed the CJ for delaying an appeal on the High Court decision by failing to provide the State with copies of the High Court proceedings .

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