alexa JSC picks 10 judges, lawyer Imaana Laibuta for Court of Appeal - Daily Nation

JSC picks 10 judges, lawyer Imaana Laibuta for Court of Appeal

Monday July 22 2019

High Court judges

Judges Mumbi Ngugi, Pauline Nyamweya and Weldon Korir hear a case challenging Huduma Namba registration at the Milimani Law Courts in Nairobi on March 25, 2019. PHOTO | DENNIS ONSONGO | NATION MEDIA GROUP 

SAM KIPLAGAT
By SAM KIPLAGAT
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The Judicial Service Commission on Monday recommend appointment of 10 High Court judges and lawyer Imaana Laibuta to the Court of Appeal.

The judges are Francis Tuiyott, Hellen Omondi, Pauline Nyamweya, Weldon Korir, Msagha Mbogholi, Aggrey Muchelule, Jessie Lesiit, Mumbi Ngugi, George Odunga and Joel Ngugi.

The commission will forward the names of these "most suitable candidates" to President Uhuru Kenyatta for appointment.

Following the announcement of the list of 11 by Chief Justice David Maraga at a press briefing in Nairobi, however, Law Society of Kenya representative Macharia Njeru dissented, saying they expected at least two lawyers to be selected as he made a strong case for this.

VACANCIES

The second highest court after the Supreme Court currently has 19 judges, 11 short of the required 30.

In addition, two senior judges - Erastus Githinji and Alnashir Visram - are set to retire this year.

For the interviews that took place from June 17 to 27, the commission shortlisted 22 judges and 13 advocates including Dr Laibuta, Moses Kurgat, Prof Nixon Sifuna and Paul Lilan.

The country has Court of Appeal stations - Nairobi, where majority of the judges are stationed, and Kisumu, Malindi and Nyeri, which have three judges each.

KEY CASES

Judge Mbogholi is currently the presiding judge of the Civil Division of the High Court in Nairobi while judge Lesiit is the presiding judge of the Criminal Division of the High Court.

Among the high profile cases Ms Lesiit is currently handling is the trial of Migori Governor Okoth Obado, his personal assistant Mr Michael Oyamo and Mr Caspal Obiero, a clerk in the county.

They have denied murdering pregnant Rongo University student Sharon Otieno, whom Mr Obado admitted was his girlfriend.

Judge Lesiit is also hearing the trial of five people, among them four police officers, accused of murdering lawyer Willie Kimani, his client boda boda rider Joseph Mwenda and taxi driver Joseph Muiruri.

Justice Odunga made a name for himself when he issued orders against the government while serving at the Judicial Review Division of the High Court in Nairobi.