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Wednesday, October 27, 2021

Why JSC appointed rogue Court of Appeal judges despite NIS embargo

Details are emerging that the Judicial Service Commission(JSK) ignored intelligence reports to announce 46 court of appeal judges last month.

Uzalendo News has established that after the shortlisting of the candidates, the JSC wrote to the office of the President based agency to ascertain the suitability of all the shortlisted court of appeal candidates.

Chief Justice David Maraga, Also heads the Judiciary Service Commission | PHOTO COURTESY

There was however pressure from certain quarters to appoint the judges in readiness to 2022 elections.
The security agencies, led by NIS are said to have vetted the candidates and flagged several names; But before the NIS could even submit their findings, the JSC went ahead and made the names public.

Uzalendo News has established that the JSC received the communication from the OP based multiagency intelligence team, but ignored the advice, claiming that spy body had taken “too” long.

The blacklisted names include those of sitting judges said to enjoy favourable rating from some JSC Commissioners.
It is said the JSC team was demanding reasons for the blacklisting of their nominated judges, but the security agencies have no obligation to provide evidence.

The work of authenticating suitability claims rests with the DCI who must be moved to investigate and prosecute such culprits based on the law.

According to the Constitution, the JSC has absolute powers in the appointment of judges and their recommendations are final. There are concerns that the powers of JSC as enshrined in the constitution are excessive.

This, some quarters of fear has made too powerful…leading to fears of abuse of power.
The JSC Chairman is Chief Justice Maraga.

President Uhuru Kenyatta meeting with Chief Justice David Maraga, alongside Philomena Mwilu | PHOTO COURTESY

President Uhuru Kenyatta has refused to gazette the JSC nominated Court of Appeal judges. The President may have done so in compliance with integrity issues raised by multi-agency teams. But the JSC teams claim that their nominees will automatically assume office within three months is the President refuses to swear them.

Sources close to the Presidency said that the Head of State has vowed never to gazette the judges until those mentioned adversely are dropped.

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