Maraga accuses Boinnet of ignoring security pleas

 Chief Justice David Maraga addresses the press at the Kisii Law Courts on June 21, 2017. PHOTO | BENSON MOMANYI | NMG
Chief Justice David Maraga addresses the press at the Kisii Law Courts on June 21, 2017. PHOTO | BENSON MOMANYI | NMG 

Chief Justice David Maraga on Tuesday accused Inspector-General of Police Joseph Boinnet of ignoring calls to beef up the security of judges and courts, exposing them to danger.

In a statement issued after a day-long meeting with other members of the Judicial Service Commission (JSC), Justice Maraga said the Judiciary and judges would soldier on and are ready to pay the ultimate price defending the Constitution and the rule of law.

Justice Maraga made the statement as hundreds of ruling party Jubilee supporters held demonstrations outside the Supreme Court, accusing it of ‘stealing our victory” in the August 8 polls by subverting the will of the people.

“JSC notes with dismay that the Inspector-General of Police, who is expected to provide security to all government facilities, has repeatedly ignored calls to act, exposing judicial officers, property and litigants to danger,” he said.

The CJ maintained that the Judiciary is an arm of government equal to both the Executive and the Legislature.

He proposed that if political leaders are tired of having a “strong and independent Judiciary”, they should call a referendum and abolish it altogether.

“Before that happens, the Judiciary will continue to discharge its mandate in accordance with the Constitution and individual oaths of office,” he added.

Justice Maraga said it was saddening that the Judiciary and judges, especially those of the Supreme Court, have come under constant attacks, culminating in demonstrations, which were held outside court buildings in Nyeri, Nakuru and Eldoret.

He said the demonstrations bordered on violence and were intended to intimidate the Judiciary and individual judges.

“The Judiciary has not and will never seek to direct the other arms on how to perform their functions. In the same vein, we will not allow anybody to dictate to us how to discharge our mandate as given by the people of Kenya under the Constitution. We want to state that the rule of law must be allowed to prevail at all times,” he said.

Justice Maraga said the JSC was concerned with the “mindless acts of aggression against the Judiciary” stating that if anything happens to individual judges, staff or their families, those making inciting statements will be personally held responsible.

He described the attacks as denigrating, demeaning and degrading and only “meant to intimidate, threaten and cow the institution and individual judges”, adding that the acts are not only unlawful, but also savage in nature.

The Supreme Court is Wednesday expected to deliver its full judgement on the decision nullifying President Uhuru Kenyatta’s August 8 election victory.

By a majority of four, the court nullified the presidential election and ordered the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) to conduct repeat poll within 60 days, as per the Constitution.

Two judges, Justices Jackton Ojwang’ and Njoiki Ndung’u, dissented saying the alleged irregularities were not proved and if any, they were not massive to void the outcome.