NAIROBI, Kenya, June 28 – Chief Justice Martha Koome has appointed a three-judge bench to hear and determine two petitions challenging the decision of President Uhuru Kenyatta’s refusal to appoint six judges.
The trio- Justice James Wakiaga, George Nduru, and William Musyoka have since held a preliminary session on the two petitions one filed by Katiba Institute and another by Nakuru-based Benjamin Magare Gikenyi.
The bench directed the petition to be consolidated.
President Uhuru Kenyatta appointed 34 judges out of 41 who were recommended by the Judicial Service Commission (JSC) for appointment, citing intelligence reports indicting them on a number of issues which he did not disclose.
The six left out are Justice Aggrey Muchelule, Weldon Korir, George Odunga, Prof Joel Ngugi, Mombasa chief Magistrate Charles Kinango and High Court Registrar Judy Omange who were previously by the JSC and their names recommended to the president for appointment.
The decision by the president to leave out the six has been challenged by the two petitioners who argued that the president acted unconstitutionally and in a biased manner by rejecting the nominees.
High Court judge James Makau has since issued an order stopping the formation of a Tribunal to investigate the six.
In his ruling, the judge further halted any investigations arising from the decision of the president pending hearing and determination of the petitions.
The decision of the president was condemned by among others, the Law Society of Kenya (LSK) and Judicial Service Commission which urged him to reconsider his decision.