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Economy

Judge Ojwang’ opts for private tribunal hearing ahead of probe

Jackton Ojwang'
Justice Jackton Ojwang' reacts during past Court proceedings. FILE PHOTO | NMG 

Supreme Court judge Jackton Boma Ojwang’ Monday settled for a private hearing as the tribunal appointed by President Uhuru Kenyatta, to inquire into his conduct readies itself for the sittings.

Appearing for a pretrial on Monday at Kenyatta International Convention Centre, where the sessions will be held from next month, the parties also agreed to visit Migori as part of the inquiry.

They agreed that the tribunal will travel to Migori town on Monday, June 24 while the hearing will commence on July 15. Twenty-two witnesses have been lined up for the hearing while the judge will not be calling any witnesses.

Justice Ojwang’ was suspended on April 2, after the Judicial Service Commission (JSC) recommended the President forms a tribunal to investigate his conduct.

Two complaints were filed against the judge but he opted to send his lawyer Nani Mungai before the JSC when he was summoned for questioning.

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The tribunal will be chaired by Court of Appeal judge Alnashir Visram and members include retired Court of Appeal judge Festus Azangalala, Ambrose Weda, Andrew Bahati Mwamuye, Senior Counsel Lucy Kambuni, Sylvia Wanjiku Muchiri and Amina Abdalla.

The Supreme Court judge was faulted for sitting in a petition filed by nine residents of Migori, yet he is alleged to be a close friend to Governor Okoth Obado.

The petitioners accused the judge of gross misconduct, impropriety, conflict of interest and breach of the judicial code of conduct.

While recommending for his inquiry, JSC said despite being closely associated with Mr Obado, Justice Ojwang sat in the bench, which allowed the case to be heard by the Supreme Court.

Justice Ojwang defended himself, saying he was not part of the bench determined the main grievance related to interests in the Sony Sugar-belt area.

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