A petition seeking the removal of Supreme Court judge Njoki Ndung’u on allegations of misconduct has been withdrawn.
This was announced on Thursday by Chief Justice David Maraga during a press briefing by the Judicial Service Commission (JSC) on the status of recent petitions filed against a number of judges and magistrates.
Maraga dismissed reports that JSC commissioners were last night embroiled in a battle over the fate of Justice Njoki Ndung’u with the bone of contention being whether to recommend a tribunal to probe her conduct.
“What we are seeing in the media today (Thursday) about Justice Njoki Ndung’u is surprising… It is as if the commission was deliberating on her case the whole day yesterday. If anything it is one of the petitions that took the least time since it was withdrawn,” said Maraga.
The petition against Justice Njoki had been filed by Lawyer Apollo Mboya, who was also seeking the removal of Justice Jackton Ojwang.
“The petition by Mr. Apollo Mboya against the Hon Justice J.B. Ojwang and the Hon Lady Justice Njoki Ndungu on allegations of misconduct of those judges arising from their pronouncements in the Nick Salat case,” said JSC.
Also withdrawn is the petition against Justice David Majanja who was being blamed over the manner in which he handled a case — Nairobi ELC Case No 1018/2012, Lennah Wanjiku Mbiyu & Another = Vs = Eddah Wanjiru Mbiyu and 3 Others.
Meanwhile, JSC has asked President Uhuru Kenyatta to form a tribunal to investigate the conduct of three judges accused of gross misconduct.
The three are Justice D.K. Njagi Marete, Justice Martin Mati Muya and Lady Justice Lucy Waithaka.
In a statement read by Chief Justice David Maraga, JSC said it was satisfied that petitions filed against the three judges raised serious integrity issues that warrant their removal.
“After hearing the following 3 petitions, the Commission was satisfied that they disclosed grounds for removal under
Article 168 (1) of the Constitution and made a decision to Petition H.E. the President for the appointment of
Tribunals under Article 168 (5) of the Constitution,” said JSC.
Justice Marete is accused of gross misconduct, bias, impartiality and breach of the Constitution in a petition filed by Kenya Tea Growers Association (KTGA), Unilever, Siret and five others at the Kericho Employment & Labour Relations Court.
“In those cases, the Hon Judge, while well aware of the existence of an order in another file on the same subject matter, went ahead and issued orders which had the effect of setting aside the orders of a fellow Judge of coordinate jurisdiction,” said Maraga.
Justice Muya is accused of bias, abuse of office, incompetency and gross misconduct in the manner he handled a case where NIC bank had been sued by two petitioners.
“The petition against the Hon. Mr. Justice Martin Mati Muya was filed by NIC Bank which was the defendant in Bomet HCCC No. 4 of 2016 Alfred Kipkorir Mutai & Kipsigis Stores Ltd -Vs- NIC Bank Limited.
“In that case, the Hon Judge, after numerous adjournments, granted an injunction and reserved the reasons thereof for a period of 5 months. This was in total disregard of the pleas by the NIC Bank that the motor vehicles that had been given to it as security were being sold and were eventually sold thus occasioning loss to the bank,” reads the statement.
For Justice Lucy Waithaka, she is accused of impropriety for issuing two conflicting judgments over the same matter.
“The Petition against Hon. Lady Justice Lucy Waithaka was by Philip Kipyegon Lelei in Kericho H.C.C.C No. 64/2008, Jonathan Kimutai Mibei vs Philip Kipyegon Lelei,” said the commission.