The High Court has ordered the Judicial Service Commission (JSC) from interviewing candidates for the position of the Judge of the Supreme Court, which is set to begin on Monday.
Justices Anthony Mrima, Reuben Nyakundi and Wilfrida Okwany, allowed the interviews for the Chief Justice position to go on as scheduled.
However, the court barred JSC to continue with deliberations for the position of Chief Justice once the interviews were finalised, pending hearing of petitions filed by four petitioners.Senior Counsel Philip Murgor appearing for the CJ interviews on Friday, April 16, 2021.
"We have considered the submissions and as at now there are three petitions challenging ongoing process of recruitment of Chief Justice. The petitions raise weighty issues. The constitutionality of the ongoing process has been challenged. The issues are novel," the judges stated.
The petitions by Tolphin Nafula, Philip Muchiri, Damaris Wakiuru and Memba Ocharo were filed separately but were consolidated on Wednesday, April 21.
In one of the petitions, activist Memba stated that some of the candidates who have been interviewed had admitted that they did not fill the wealth declaration form as required by law.
In another petition, Nafula indicated that Prof. Olive Mugenda was illegally elected as the interim vice-chairperson for the JSC.
Ndirangu and Muchiri's petition seek to to bar JSC commissioners Olive Mugenda and Patrick Gichuhi from the commission.
The petitioners noted that it was unconstitutional for Mugenda to chair the board of Kenyatta University Teaching, Referral & Research Hospital and be a member of the Commission. On the other hand, Gichuhi was accused of illegally representing the Public Service Commission (PSC) at the JSC
The commission has so far interviewed eight candidates for the CJ position.
The candidates include; Justice Said Juma Chitembwe, Prof. Patricia Mbote, Lady Justice Martha Koome, Justice Marete Njagi, lawyer Philip Murgor, Lawyer Fredrick Ngatia, Justice Matthews Nduma and Justice William Ouko.
Two more candidates are yet to be interviewed including; Prof. Moni Wekesa and lawyer Alice Yano.Justice Edward Ouko appearing before the Judiciary Service Commission (JSC) on Wednesday, April 21.
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