JSC nominees to wait longer for swearing-in
President Uhuru Kenyatta’s nominees to the Judicial Service Commission will not be sworn in after the court extended orders barring their gazettement.
Justice Chacha Mwita extended the conservatory orders on Friday. Uhuru’s three nominees are Olive Mugenda, Felix Koskei and Patrick Gichohi.
Katiba Institute made an application for the extension of the orders until their matter is heard and determined.
The lobby group has also filed a new motion seeking to strike out the PSC and Gichohi’s replying affidavits from the court records, saying the decision by the Attorney General to represent them was unlawful.
Read Also: Court bars MPs from vetting Justice Mohamed Warsame for JSC post
The Institute is questioning the AG’s decision to represent the PSC and Gichohi, who was sued as a private individual.
They want the court to order Gichohi to reimburse the AG all legal fees for his representation in the case. The group says there is urgent need for the court to regularise the PSC and Gichohi’s representation in the matter.
They also argue that neither the Constitution nor the statute empowers the AG to extend legal representation to private individuals.
“The AG, who is appointed under the Constitution as the government’s chief legal adviser, has no unfettered discretion to provide legal services or act as an advocate to all and sundry and has acted ultra vires by appointing himself as an advocate for Gichohi.”
Katiba Institute also says the PSC is an independent constitutional commission and the claim in the petition is that the commission cedes its independence to third parties. It states that the AG representation in the matter deprives the PSC of the benefit of independent legal advice.
In an affidavit filed by lawyer Suyianka Lempaa, he says the PSC has been sued in its capacity as an independent constitutional commission for failing to uphold its constitutional, statutory and administrative responsibilities.
The case will be heard on May 11.
The Star Newspaper