NAIROBI, Kenya, Apr 26- An Appellate Court bench was on Monday set to rule on an order barring the Judicial Service Commission (JSC) from scoring candidates interviewed for the position of Chief Justice for onward transmission for appointment by the president.
The three Judges Roselyne Nambuye, Patrick Kiage and Sankale Ole Kantai started hearing the appeal by the Judicial Service Commission and Attorney General Kihara Kariuki on Monday morning. A ruling was due later Monday afternoon.
The JSC and AG Kariuki are aggrieved by last week’s order that was issued by 3 High Court Judges, in a case by three petitioners who faulted the recruitment process.
JSC through the chair of the recruitment panel Prof. Olive Mugenda and the AG says the High Court order is set to affect the listing of three candidates whom the President will rely on to pick a Chief Justice to replace David Maraga who retired in January.
The JSC commenced interviews on April 12 to recruit a Chief Justice and concluded on Friday last week.
Justices Anthony Mrima, (Lady) Wifrida Okwany and Reuben Nyakundi further stopped the JSC from interviewing candidates for the position of Supreme Court judge left vacant following the retirement of Prof Jackton Okwang.
The ruling of the Constitutional Court on Wednesday followed a consolidated petition in which two petitioners challenged the recruitment process.
Lawyers Danstan Omari and Prof. Elizah Ongoya who represented the petitioners cited non-declaration of wealth by candidates and the chairing of the JSC interviews by Prof Olive Mugenda as opposed to Acting CJ Mwilu.
Ten candidates were interviewed for the position. They are Justice Said Chitembwe, Prof Patricia Mbote, Justice Martha Koome, Justice Marete Njagi, Philip Murgor, Justice Nduma Nderi, Fred Ngatia, Justice William Ouko, Dr Wekesa Moni and Alice Yano.