President Uhuru Kenyatta willingly approved Chief Justice
The President suspended Ojwang’ and appointed a tribunal to investigate alleged misconduct.
The tribunal will be chaired by Appellate judge Alnashir Visram. Other members are Justice (rtd) Festus Azangalala, lawyer Ambrose Weda, Andrew Bahati, senior counsel Lucy Kambuni, Sylvia Wanjiku Muchiri and top diplomat Amina Abdallah.
Lawyer Paul Nyamodi will be the lead assisting counsel while senior State counsel Stella Munyi is the deputy. Paul Kariuki and Josiah Musili are joint secretaries.
“In the meantime, Jackton Boma Ojwang’, judge of the Supreme Court of Kenya, stands suspended from exercising the functions of his office with immediate effect, according to Article 168 (5) of the Constitution,” the President said in the official Kenya Gazette dated March 29.
On March 20, the Judicial Service Commission recommended to the President to appoint the panel following a petition by Nelson Oduor Onyango who protested Justice Ojwang’s alleged misconduct.
Ojwang’ is accused of having handled—a long with other Supreme Court judges—an application filed by Oduor and the other aggrieved parties against the Town Council of Awendo “despite being conflicted and being closely associated with the County Government of Migori and Governor Okoth Obado.”
It singled out Miscellaneous Application No.49 of 2014, of the town council of Awendo versus Nelson Oduor Onyango and eight other residents of Migori.
“The petition detailed instances which the petitioners believed constituted grounds of misconduct, impropriety, conflict of interest and breach of the judicial code of conduct on the part of the judge,” the JSC said.
“Regrettably, the judge, despite notice being served upon him, refused to attend the hearing. Upon presentation of the report by the committee, the full commission deliberated at great length and found that the petition had disclosed sufficient ground to warrant recommendation to the President to set up a tribunal for the removal of Justice Ojwang’ and accordingly adopted it,” CJ Maraga, who is the chair of the JSC, said.
JSC said “the commission found that the petition disclosed sufficient grounds to warrant a recommendation to the President to set up a tribunal for the removal of Justice Ojwang’ and accordingly adopted it”.