Economy

Mwilu part of interview panel in CJ post race

MWILU

Deputy Chief Justice Philomena Mwilu. FILE PHOTO | NMG

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Summary

  • Judiciary Chief Registrar and JSC secretary, Anne Amadi, Sunday confirmed that all nine commissioners will be present for the interview that kicks off today at 9am.
  • Senior counsel and former Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) Philip Murgor had written to the JSC requesting that Justice Mwilu not be part of the interview panel.
  • Mr Murgor in his letter to the JSC argued that Justice Mwilu and Mr Ngatia have had a previous advocate-client relationship.

Deputy Chief Justice Philomena Mwilu will sit in the panel interviewing 10 candidates in the search for Kenya's top most judge after the Judicial Service Commission (JSC) disregarded conflict of interest protests by one of the candidates.

Judiciary Chief Registrar and JSC secretary, Anne Amadi, Sunday confirmed that all nine commissioners will be present for the interview that kicks off today at 9am.

Senior counsel and former Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) Philip Murgor had written to the JSC requesting that Justice Mwilu not be part of the interview panel, arguing she is set to favour another candidate, Fred Ngatia.

Mr Murgor in his letter to the JSC argued that Justice Mwilu and Mr Ngatia have had a previous advocate-client relationship and that their history may trigger bias during the interview.

Mr Ngatia, also a senior counsel, represented Justice Mwilu in 2012 during the vetting of judges.

Mr Murgor is also uncomfortable with the advocate-client relationship between Justice Mwilu and Law Society of Kenya (LSK) President Mr Nelson Havi.

Mr Havi wrote to the JSC protesting against the shortlisting of three candidates – Mr Murgor, Prof Patricia Kameri Mbote and Justice Martha Koome – whom he claimed were not suitable to serve as Chief Justice. But the Council of the LSK rejected the claim in a letter to the JSC.

"Unless something happens, all nine commissioners will sit through the interview process. We have received comments from members of the public and State agencies like the Kenya Revenue Authority, National Intelligence Service, Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission, the LSK and others. All the comments will be taken into account," Ms Amadi said.

The JSC will also be looking to fill two slots of Supreme Court judge, following the retirement of Justice David Maraga and Jackton Ojwang who reached the mandatory retirement age of 70 in February, 2020.

Prof Mbote will be interviewed on Tuesday, followed by Justice Koome, Justice Njagi Marete, Mr Murgor, Justice Nduma Nderi, Mr Ngatia, Justice William Ouko, Prof Moni Wekesa and Ms Alice Yano Jepkoech.