The Supreme Court of Kenya has upheld a ruling that has affirmed the removal of former High Court judge Joseph Mutava from the judiciary.
The ruling was delivered by Deputy Chief Justice Philomena Mwilu and Justices Mohamed Ibrahim, Jackton Ojwang’, Isaac Lenaola and Njoki Ndung’u.
The former judge had appealed a ruling made by the tribunal seeking reinstatement after it found him unfit to serve as a judicial officer.
During the delivery of their ruling, the tribunal has found him guilty of gross misconduct and recommended to President Uhuru Kenyatta to have him removed from the judiciary.
Mutava had asked the Supreme Court to inquire on the allegations against him claiming that they did not amount to the need for his removal.
The tribunal, led by the Chief Justice David Maraga, had been accused of expressing open bias against him during the hearing of the case in 2016 when his wife, Kibwezi East MP Jessica Mbalu was compelled to testify.
Mutava was sacked over his contested handling of businessman Kamlesh Pattni’s file.
“The tribunal has the option of recommending that he should be suspended for a given period, and then be reinstated and not necessarily removal from office. We ask that the judge be reinstated,” his lawyer Phillip Nyachoti had pleaded.
The lawyer further claimed that the tribunal was unfair to him when it relied on the same to recommend his removal.
Additionally, he asked the five-judge bench to find the entire verdict by the tribunal as unlawful because the way the case against the judge was conducted before the tribunal did not fully comply with the provisions of the Judicial Service Act on removal of a judge.
However, state counsel Emmanuel Bitta affirmed: “The tribunal was conscious of Justice Mutava’s rights and the evidence before it was supported by the court records which were the subject of the dispute.”
He supported the Supreme Court’s decision stating that the allegations against him had cast doubt on public confidence in the Judiciary.