Written by Carolyn Wamalwa
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Justice Riaga Omollo, Justice Samuel Bosire, Justice Emmanuel O’kubasu and Justice Joseph Nyamu have been sent packing by the board mandated to vet judges and magistrates which has declared them unfit to serve as court of appeal judges.
The four are part of nine Judges who had applied to continue serving as appellate judges.
Those approved include Justice Philip Waki, Justice Erastus Githinji, Alnashir Vishram, Justice PhillipTunoi and Justice Onyango Otieno
Justice Riaga Omollo’s application to serve as judge in the appellate court has been rejected on grounds of lack of independence and impartiality, inconsistency, bias, and intolerance.
Justice Bosire is said to have overlooked the 1982 torture of victims, as well as ending the Goldenberg Inquiry prematurely and also failing to summon former President Daniel Arap Moi for questioning over his role in the scam.
Emmanuel O’kubasu is said to have accepted gifts from plaintiffs as well as exercising high handedness.
Justice Joseph Nyamu was mentioned as having a hand in questionable land deals, as well as frustrating efforts to hold senior officials to account.
Making the announcement, the board chair Sharad Rao explained that the board was only out to serve its objective which entailed restoring public confidence in the judiciary and not necessarily to punish the top ranking judges.
Justice and constitutional affairs minister Eugene wamalwa congratulated the board for the work done saying that the move aligns the country on the right path towards constitutional implementation and national healing.
“We must be prepared as a nation to pay the price to ensure that these reforms are carried out and that our institutions are renewed and that once again public confidence is restored in such key institutions,” he said.
Law Society of Kenya chairman Eric Mutua too echoed the minister’s sentiments, saying that the move demonstrates the change that has been for long fought for in all institutions regardless of their stature.
“We are happy with the decision of the board since the decision was by the majority. we appeal to members of the LSK to came out and make complaints without fear so that the next phase of vetting is carried out successfully,” said LSK chair Eric Mutua
Section 22 of the Act on the vetting exercise provides for review of the verdict, and the rejected judges have been advised to appeal within a period of seven days.
The vetting of the nine judges sitting at the appeal court was carried out in private and was conducted between February and April 2012.
Rao has revealed that the board will towards the end of April interview the remaining two judge Serving at the Supreme Court.
Members of the vetting board are Rao, Meuledi Iseme, Justus Maithya, Ngotho Kairuki, Abdirashid Abdullahi, Roselyne Odede, South African judge Albie Sach, Zambian Fredrick Chomba and Ghanaian CJ Georginah Woods.
The board was established by the Vetting of Judges and Magistrates Act 2011 and was assented by the president on March 21, 2011.
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