A lawyer who was among the 41 nominees of Judicial Service Commission (JSC) to President Uhuru Kenyatta for appointment as a judge, has passed away.
Harrison Okeche was supposed to be appointed to the Employment and Labour Relations Court but the journey was cut off on Saturday when he succumbed to injuries.
The deceased had an accident at Ololunga Bridge near Narok town on October 4 before passing away last Saturday.
Chief Justice David Maraga mourned the deceased as a “dynamic professional” who served the people of Kenya in many public positions such as Chairman, Human Resources Committee of the Kisii University Council; Board Member of Sports Stadia Management Kenya; Member of the KIE Curriculum Development Board and Board Member Kenya Railway Training Institute.
According to the CJ, Okeche last worked with Standard Chartered Bank as the Head of Employee Relations, East Africa, before he succeeded in the Judicial Service Commission interviews and was recommended to the President for appointment as one of the 10 ELRC judges in August 2019.
“As the Judiciary, we feel the pain of his loss before he could render his services to the cause of justice delivery in Kenya. I wish the family strength and courage in these difficult times and pray that God gives you the fortitude to bear this heavy loss,” Maraga said.
Message of condolence to the Family of Harrison Ogweno Okeche, nominee judge of the Employment and Labour Relations Court. pic.twitter.com/o7OMJ0JEuc
— David Maraga (@dkmaraga) October 13, 2020
Law Society of Kenya President Nelson Havi while condoling with the bereaved family said the stalled appointments have left the nominees in an awkward position.
“Are we going to bury our brother as a judge or as a lawyer? What benefits for the position will be channelled to his estate?” Havi told the Standard.
“It is a very sad situation. I do not know what to tell the family. Once nominated by JSC, most of them stopped practising as lawyers.”
In May, Havi threatened to sue the President and the Attorney General over failure to swear in the 41 Court of Appeal judges and gazette lawyers as essential service providers.
“Legal action shall be taken against you, Solicitor General as well as the President of Republic of Kenya in the event of failure of compliance within the time frame indicated,” his letter read.
Chief Justice David Maraga is set to appoint new judges to hear a case challenging the President’s decision to hold on to the list of those nominated by the JSC.
It is alleged that the head of state has declined to appoint some of the nominees due to integrity issues facing them.