Senior Counsel Fred Ngatia is fronted by a section of Kenyans as the best-suited candidate to succeed retired Chief Justice David Maraga.
However, his close association with politicians affiliated to the ruling Jubilee Party could be his biggest undoing, or maybe an advantage.
In his application, Ngatia revealed that he donated KSh500,000 to the Jubilee secretariat in 2017 during a luncheon for professionals.
Despite distancing himself from any political affiliations, the Ksh500,000 could be his biggest undoing, since the Judicial Service Commission (JSC) could see this as a hindrance to Judicial independence.
The Chief Justice is the President of the Judiciary, an arm of the government that should exercise high levels of independence since it keeps in check the Executive and the Legislature.
Ngatia also faces a hurdle to explain his relationship with President Uhuru Kenyatta, after representing him during the 2013 and 2017 Presidential Election Petitions.
“I was appointed in 2013 to lead a team for which I am forever grateful and in 2017 I was appointed to do the same. Despite acting for the president-elect, I went back to my private practice,” said Ngatia.
Mr. Ngatia was born in 1956 in Laikipia County and holds a Master of Applied Philosophy & Ethics degree from Strathmore University (2019), Master of Laws from London School of Economics, University of London (1984) and a Bachelor of Laws from the University of Nairobi (1979).
He also holds a Post Graduate Diploma in Law from the Kenya School of Law (1980). He was admitted to the Roll of Advocates in 1980.
Mr. Ngatia has an aggregate of 41 years of experience in the legal profession:
He previously worked as a State Counsel/ Senior State Counsel at State Law Office between 1980 and 1987.