Justice Said Chitembwe/ Courtesy
NAIROBI, Kenya May 5- The Judicial Service Commission (JSC) now wants President Uhuru Kenyatta to form a tribunal to look into the conduct of High Court judge Said Chitembwe.
“The Commission would like to notify the public that the panel constituted to consider the petitions concluded its work and presented its report to the full Commission for deliberation,” the statement from Justice Koome said.
Chief Justice Martha Koome noted that the Commission resolved to send the petition to President Kenyatta as required by Article 168(4) of the constitution for further action.
A number of allegations have been filed against the judge among them, one filed by former Nairobi governor Mike Sonko, accusing Justice Chitembwe of advising the former Nairobi Governor that the judgment that upheld his removal as the Nairobi county boss, should be set aside because there was coercion, bribery, and fraud.
They also looked into the judge’s clips circulated on social media which alleged capturing him discussing an ongoing case with third parties.
Complaints were also filed by Francis Wambua where he alleged that the judge involved himself in a number of acts of gross judicial misconduct, including discussing the merits of a matter pending in court, with third parties.
Wambua claimed that Justice Chitembwe was captured discussing a matter pending before him, with third parties and rendering judgments based on other influences including bribery.
He said the judge lacks the integrity to continue holding office because he has breached the constitutional provisions on integrity and the judges’ code of conduct.
Justice Chitembwe and his High Court colleague Aggrey Muchelule were taken into custody in July last year, but they were later released without charges.
Justice Chitembwe later admitted that he had about Sh770,000 in US currency with him when police officers raided his office and he intended to wire the money to his son’s school fees at the Edith Cowan University Perth Australia.
The grounds for the removal of a judge include inability to perform the functions of office arising from mental or physical incapacity, breach of a code of conduct prescribed for judges, bankruptcy, incompetence or gross misconduct or misbehavior.
Once the JSC considers the petition and, if it is satisfied that the petition discloses a ground for removal, it sends the petition to the President, who shall, within 14 days suspend the judge from office and form a tribunal to probe the judge’s conduct.
The Judge will receive half his pay until the conclusion of the probe depending on the outcome of whether he will be sacked or reinstated.
In case the judge is aggrieved by the recommendation for the removal, he may appeal against the decision before the Supreme Court, within 10 days of the decision