JSC gives petitioners two weeks to serve Chitembwe
The Judicial Service Commission has directed two petitions seeking the removal of Justice Said Chitembwe that they be served upon the judge within 14 days.
In a statement on Monday, JSC, through Chief Justice Martha Koome, said they will consider the petitions once Justice Chitembwe has responded to them.
“Petitions and the judge’s response will be considered by a panel that has been set up by the commission. The panel will present its findings and recommendations to the commission,” the statement.
JSC said it will expedite the petitions within the confines of Articles 168 of the Constitution and reiterateda its commitment to the values of integrity and accountability in the Judiciary.
In the Petition before JSC, and which was filed on September 3, two people want Chitembwe removed over gross misconduct and incompetence.
Imgard Beige and David Olekilusu accuse the judge of entertaining a succession case regarding an immovable property located outside the court’s supervisory and administrative jurisdiction.
The duo claims Justice Chitembwe, who was then stationed at Malindi High Court, handled a succession case, which was concluded with a judgment on May 16, 2018.
Petitioners, who are also directors of Pacific Frontier Seas Limited, which was an objector in the suit, claimed the judge declined to transfer the file to Mombasa High Court that had the geographical and supervisory jurisdiction.
It was also their case that before the judgment was delivered on May 16, 2018, the suit property was transferred and registered in the name of the judge’s brother, Amana Said.
Pressure continues to mount on the High Court Judge to quit the Bench after former Nairobi Governor Mike Sonko last week on Tuesday, released a damning video footage allegedly showing Chitembwe discussing how to compromise a case.
In the amateur video, a man purported to be the judge is seen receiving a bag full of money from a female lawyer for the purpose of defeating justice.
In the expose, a man alleged to be George Kariuki and believed to be the Deputy State House Comptroller, claims to have been sent by “State House” to convince Chitembwe not to stop Sonko’s impeachment.
Dubbed: “The Rot in the Kenyan Judiciary” the first episode of a five-part series shows events leading to Sonko’s impeachment and Chitembwe’s alleged involvement in fraudulent dealings in his chambers.
The video leak also captures a man claiming to be Chitembwe’s brother and nominee in the deal, Amana Saidi and also shows circumstances surrounding the swearing-in of Ann Kananu as Nairobi Governor.
Judge, in an interview, however, disowned Saidi, saying he was not his brother.
On Monday, the former governor was gagged from publishing information he alleges is a clear testament of the ongoing corruption in the Judiciary.
Sonko’s former lawyers, Cecil Miller and George Kithi, on Monday obtained orders barring the former county chief from further publishing any exposé against them pending a hearing of their case.
The court also barred Justice Chitembwe’s alleged brother, Saidi, from publishing anything on the two barristers.
Miller, Kithi and Justice Chitembwe were adversely mentioned in the exposé, with Sonko alleging the two city lawyers received over Sh315 million to compromise his impeachment process.
Former governor said he shall challenge the same order at the inter partes hearing on Friday.