Two Supreme Court judges targeted in fresh petition

Two Supreme Court judges targeted in fresh petition

Two petitions have been filed at the Judicial Service Commission seeking the investigation and removal from office of two Supreme Court judges, Deputy Chief Justice (DCJ) Philomena Mwilu and Justice Isaac Lenaola over alleged gross misconduct.

The two Supreme Court judges are among four who annulled President Kenyatta’s win in the August 8 General Elections citing irregularities and technicalities that they ruled affected the entire election process.

The petition filed by Derrick Malika Ngumu, the executive director of the Mombasa-based Angaza Empowerment Network, alleges that the DCJ was in contact with Busia Senator Amos Wako, a counsel on record for Raila Odinga, and James Orengo, the lead counsel for the opposition NASA through his sister Margaret Orengo.

Mr Ngumu claims that the DCJ Mwilu had a lengthy meeting with Senator Wako on August 17, 2017 , a day before the NASA petition was filed at the Supreme Court. Further, the petitioner alleges the topic of conversation centred on the NASA presidential petition.

By failing to bring to the attention of the court the alleged meetings and telephone communication, Mr Malik says DCJ Mwilu brings into doubt her impartiality, integrity, independence and exposes judicial misconduct on her part which contravenes “many sections of the Judicial Code of Conduct.”

Justice Lenaola alleged misconduct

Justice Isaac Lenaola is accused of meeting with Steve Mwenesi, a representative of the Law Society of Kenya, an interested party in the NASA petition. Mr Malik claims that Justice Lenaola met with Mwenesi outside the precincts of the court while the hearing of the petition was ongoing at the Supreme Court.

In addition, Justice Lenaola is alleged to have communicated with NASA principal Moses Wetangula through his son Emmanuel Wetangula and Orange Democratic’s Director of Communication Philip Etale, including holding physical meetings with them while the NASA case was ongoing.

President Kenyatta’s threat

After his election was annulled on September 1, President Kenyatta said that he would accept the Supreme Court judgment but vowed that the issue would be revisited in a move interpreted to mean that the Judiciary would come under attack from Jubilee following the historic ruling

Last week, Nyeri Town MP Ngunjiri Wambugu filed a petition at the JSC seeking the removal of the Chief Justice David Maraga for alleged orchestration of a judicial coup but he later withdrew it following sustained pressure from Jubilee lawmakers, including President Kenyatta who told him the case was ill-timed.

Four Supreme Court judges, namely Chief Justice David Maraga, Deputy Chief Justice Philomena Mwilu, Justice Isaac Lenaola and Justice Smokin Wanjala invalidated President Kenyatta’s win in which he garnered 54 per cent of the total votes cast, surpassing the 50 per cent + 1 vote needed to win the presidency.

The opposition had filed the petition complaining that the Kenya Integrated Elections Management System failed after results from over 10,000 polling stations were sent through text messages. The law required that the election results be transmitted through Forms 34As at the polling station which were to be sent to the constituency tallying centre where they would be collated and transmitted through Forms 34Bs, a process that failed.

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