Chief Justice Martha Koome has opposed a case filed in court by Katiba Institute challenging President Uhuru Kenyatta’s failure to appoint six judges as recommended by the Judicial Service Commission (JSC).
President Kenyatta had in June appointed 34 judges from a list of 41 submitted by JSC and left out the six that included George Odunga, Aggrey Muchelule, Joel Ngugi, Weldon Korir, Judith Cheruiyot and Evans Makori.
Katiba Institute moved to court seeking to compel the President to approve the nomination of the six remaining judges without further delay.
But in an unexpected move and what appears to be a U-turn on Koome’s stand on the matter, the CJ has asked the court to dismiss the case.
The CJ, in her grounds of opposition, says the case filed by the activist group is bad in law, fatally defective and an abuse of the court process.
JSC, which made the recommendations, has also taken a similar stand on the matter as the President of the Apex Court.
In joint grounds of the opposition of the case by Katiba Institute dated June 14, the CJ and JSC argue that the case has been overtaken by events.
Through Lawyer Isaac Wamaasa, the CJ and JSC argue that they have no powers under the law to stop any judge of a superior court from performing his or her judicial functions.
Katiba Institute had asked the court to order the CJ and JSC not to assign work to the 34 judges appointed last month until their six colleagues are also sworn in.
The case on the appointment of the 41 judges was first filed in court by the activists in June last year on speculation that the President was planning to cherry-pick the judges.
The case is scheduled to come up today for hearing before a three-judge bench.