President Uhuru Kenyatta has been dragged to court with his appointment of 34 new judges has being challenged in court.
The petition was filed on Friday morning, just a day after the President gazetted the appointments that saw Justices George Odunga andJoel Ngugi who were part of the five judge bench that declared BBI illegal.
Katiba Institute, a lobby group, moved to court wanting the controversial appointments revoked.
They want the President Kenyatta compelled to appoint all 40 judges who were recommended by the Judicial Service Commission (JSC).
The petition read in part that “That the Court issue a further order of prohibition stopping the Chief Justice and the Judicial Service Commission, their agents or anyone whatsoever from assigning duties to judges appointed from a partial list of the 40 nominees — contrary to the recommendation of the JSC in 2019 and the orders of this court in February 2020, pending hearing of the application and Petition.”
Katiba Institute argues that, by leaving out six judges from the appointments, the President undermined the authority of the Judiciary, adding that the Constitutional rights of the six judges who were left out of the list of 40 will stand violated should the JSC proceed to swear them in.
Justice Weldon Korir, Justice Aggrey Muchelule, Justice Joel Ngugi and Justice George Odunga who were set to join the Court of Appeal upon the recommendation of the Judicial Service Commission were all left out.
The appointments stirred both sides of the political divide with Uhuru coming under heavy attack.
Senator Millicent Omanga on Friday morning tweeted: “Dear CJ Martha Koome, Kenyans are keenly watching your moves over the appointment of judges. Will you call the president’s bluff or you’ll pander to the executive? Whatever you do with this moment will define Kenyans’ perception of the judiciary under leadership. Act!”
“Congratulations to all the Judges whose appointments have been confirmed after needless and inordinate delay. In a blatant violation of the Constitution the President is using the opportunity to punish Judges he doesn’t like and this is a very dangerous path. He is setting a bad precedent,” Stated Kipchumba Murkomen.
“On This We Must Be Plain, The President Cannot Select Which Judges To Gazette After JSC Recommendation.” Fired Otiende Amollo.