Omtatah wants Mwilu barred from acting as CJ

Friday, December 11th, 2020 00:00 |
Deputy Chief Justice Philomena Mwilu. Photo/Courtesy

Human rights activist Okiya Omtatah has petitioned the High court seeking orders to prohibit the Judicial Service Commission (JSC) from appointing Deputy Chief Justice Philomena Mwilu to act in the office of Chief Justice.

Omtatah wants JSC or its agents stopped from appointing DCJ to act as Chief Justice unless and until the JSC clears her of the allegations of corruption and abuse of office contained in four petitions seeking her removal pending hearing and determination.

He also wants the file to be forwarded to the Chief Justice to appoint a three or five judge bench to hear and determine it pursuant to Article 165(4) of the Constitution. 

Omtatah argues that the case is extremely urgent since on December 15, Chief Justice David Maraga is set to proceed on his terminal leave pending his retirement in 2021, and  Mwilu is set to assume the office of the Chief Justice in an acting capacity pending the appointment of the substantive office holder yet the commission is yet hear and determine petitions, which question her integrity and suitability for the job. 

Grave accusation

He argues that should the JSC fail to determine the petitions before  Maraga proceeds on terminal leave, then the JSC should be barred from appointing DCJ Mwilu to act in the office of the Chief Justice.

“And that requires that the petitions against the DCJ must be determined well before the Chief Justice exits office on December 15, 2020, and before Justice Mwilu assumes the office in an acting capacity, “ says Omtatah.

He wants the court to issue restraining orders on grounds that the petitions raise very grave accusations of corruption and abuse of office against the DCJ.

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