Nairobi: lawyers v judges
The Law Society of Kenya says Chief Justice Willy Mutunga tampered with a ruling by the Vetting of Judges and Magistrates Board in their decision to dismiss a supreme court judge.
It is alleged that the Chief Justice wrote a letter to the discredited judge, Mohammed Ibrahim, thanking him for the delivery of 264 judgments during a three-month period after his dismissal by the board.
According to a report in The Star newspaper of Nairobi, the board declared near the end of July that Judge Ibrahim was unsuitable to continue sitting on the court. According to the newspaper, the board described the judge’s failure to deliver judgments, some dating back eight years, as being ‘carried like a hump on camel’s back’.
The Chief Justice’s letter follows an appeal by Judge Ibrahim to review the dismissal decision, leading The Law Society’s council to accuse him of undermining the vetting process and endangering the legal process.
According to the Kenyamedia web site, the society’s chairman, Eric Mutua, expressed suspicion over the motive of the Chief Justice, alleging that it might be intended ‘to influence the decision of the board on the review of the suitability determination’.
The reports said the Chief Justice’s office declined to comment on the row.