The intrigues surrounding the Chief Justice’s interviews in the recent past have not been short of drama. Often seen as one of the powerful but hot seats in the country, candidates are called upon by the Judicial Service Commission on various issues with the aim of removing the weak and retaining the most suitable candidate for the post.
This led to some dramatic moments during the talks. From crying during the interview to the fierce exchange of words between the judges, TUSEN.co.ke takes a look at these memorable moments.
The search for Kenya’s 16th Chief Justice on Monday April 12 began with an unexpected turn of events after High Court Judge Said Juma Chitembwe became emotional and cried as he was put to the test by the JSC panel on various contentious issues.
Commissioner Evelyn Olwande asked Chitembwe about the bail rights of the accused. In this regard, Chitembwe collapsed using his own experience in which he was charged and then acquitted. At the time, he was secretary general of the National Social Security Fund (NSSF).
“When you go through the process you know it better. My personal experience was me and the CEO of the NSSF were sued, then two lawyers joined the case with the intention of delaying it, they filed the case to stop hearing the case, “he added. said a moved Chitembwe.
Judge Chitembwe Said Juma appearing before the JSC for his interview as chief judge on Monday, April 12, 2021
Former Supreme Court Justice Jackton Ojwang engaged in a fierce exchange with the JSC jury during the 2016 talks.
At one point, Ojwang sought protection from JSC President Margaret Kobia after being pressed by Commissioner Mohammed Warsame over his wife’s involvement in politics due to her influential position.
“Madam Chair, I need the protection of this particular Commissioner because he gets involved in provocative acts and also asks questions that are not meritorious,” Ojwang said.
Warsame, who seemed determined to seek answers, continued to probe Ojwang on various contentious issues that led to a battle for supremacy between the two judges.
Ojwang was among 14 other candidates who had sought to replace former Chief Justice Willy Mutunga who retired in June 2016.
An undated image of former Chief Justice candidate Jackton Ojwang.
Former Court of Appeal judge Samuel Bosire engaged in a heated debate with former JSC commissioner and lead lawyer Ahmednasir Abdullahi as the candidate protested against the lawyer’s line of questioning.
Bosire accused the outspoken lawyer of committing personal dislike against him after Ahmednasir questioned his credentials and details regarding the Goldenberg scandal.
Bosire claimed that Ahmednasir tried to bring problems to the interview that he wrote in opinion pieces.
But the lead lawyer said Bosire was opposed to his way of asking questions because he had never attended any other interview.
“I have no apologies for this,” lawyer Ahmednasir said emphatically.
An archive image of former Court of Appeal judge Samuel Bosire.
Former Chief Justice David Maraga was also implicated by the JSC jury during the 2012 verification process for allegedly soliciting bribes in order to render a favorable ruling.
Maraga refuted the allegations, however, adding that he had not participated in any illegal acts or solicited bribes during his tenure as a judge of the Court of Appeal.
As his statement did not seem satisfactory to the panel, he asked for a bible and swore before the panel that he had never committed such offenses.
“In the name of God, creator of the entire universe, I have never accepted a bribe and I will never take a bribe,” Maraga vowed before the panel.
Retired Chief Justice David Maraga.
Paul Udoto Kongani, a law student at Kenya School of Law and also a carpenter, took the JSC jury by surprise after appealing for the waiver of his candidacy before the start of the 2016 interview.
He noted that on the basis of article 166 of the Kenyan constitution, he did not meet the required threshold of 15 years of experience.
“As a job seeker you understand what it means when looking for a job. I live to uphold the constitution of Kenya and I would not want to engage the commission in a futile exercise and therefore seek to abandon my candidacy before the end of the day. the process begins, ”Kogani said.
The JSC president claimed that the law student had indeed received a letter allowing him to appear before the committee and that the process could continue.
A file image of Paul Kongani