NEWS RELEASE. NAIROBI, March 13, 2019. The Judicial Service Commission (JSC) in exercise of its mandate to promote and facilitate the independence and accountability of the Judiciary and the efficient, effective and transparent administration of justice, in its meeting of January 12, 2019 deliberated on several issues.
A petition for the removal of four Supreme Court judges on allegations of violation of the Constitution, gross misconduct, breach of the Judicial Code of Conduct and Ethics and Oath of Office, FILED BY JARED ONGERI and arising out of the recently concluded Wajir gubernatorial petition, was formally tabled before the JSC.
The four Supreme Court Judges named in the petition are Hon Justices Mohammed Ibrahim, Jackton Ojwang, Smokin Wanjala and Njoki Ndung’u. The petition was considered and the Commission directed that the same be served upon the named judges. They were given 14 days to respond to the issues raised therein.
Meanwhile, as at January 2019, in the exercise of its mandate under Article 168 of the Constitution, the Commission was seized of 69 complaints against other judges of the superior courts. These complaints were considered and 13 admitted to hearing. The hearings commence today, while 18 other petitions are at an advanced stage of consideration. The Commission found no merit with the rest of the petitions.
On other disciplinary issues, the JSC has heard and determined nine cases against magistrates. Five out of those were found to have grossly misconducted themselves contrary to the provisions of the relevant code of conduct and were accordingly dismissed.
The accusations against the magistrates ranged from issuing mandatory ex-parte orders leading to demolition of property; having huge unexplained monies deposited into their personal bank accounts; running personal businesses that result in conflict of interest and bring disrepute to the Judiciary; assigning themselves matters before other courts; overturning High Court orders; altering proceedings; unlawfully releasing accused persons in custody and releasing accused persons without approval of sureties.
On disciplinary matters facing judicial staff, three staff members were dismissed from service in relation to seeking to unduly influence tendering processes and also absenteeism from duty.
In the exercise of its mandate on promotions, following successful interviews a raft of magistrates were promoted by the JSC as follows:
- 12 Senior Principal Magistrates promoted to Chief Magistrates
- 17 Principal Magistrates to Senior Principal Magistrates and
- 46 Senior Resident Magistrates promoted to Principal Magistrates.
Parameters informing the promotions included merit, management skills, performance and integrity among others.
JUDICIAL SERVICE COMMISSION