alexa President Kenyatta forms tribunal to probe Justice Ojwang' - Daily Nation

President Kenyatta forms tribunal to probe Justice Ojwang'

Wednesday April 3 2019

Supreme Court judge Jackton Ojwang.

Supreme Court judge Jackton Ojwang. He has been suspended from office. PHOTO | FILE | NATION MEDIA GROUP 

BRIAN OKINDA
By BRIAN OKINDA
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President Uhuru Kenyatta has named a seven-member tribunal to probe the conduct of Supreme Court judge Jackton Ojwang.

In a gazette notice, President Kenyatta appointed Court of Appeal Judge Alnashir Visram as the chairperson of the tribunal.

The members of the tribunal include Justice (Rtd.) Festus Azangalala, lawyer Ambrose Weda, Andrew Bahati Mwamuye, Senior Counsel Lucy Kambuni, Sylvia Wanjiku Muchiri and Amina Abdalla.

The President was acting on the recommendation of the Judicial Service Commission (JSC).

Justice Ojwang’ stands suspended from office according to the Constitution.

Justice Ojwang’ is facing various allegations including being bribed to deliver favourable rulings and being a partial arbitrator.

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He is also accused of close association with Migori County government and its Governor Okoth Obado.

One complaint against Justice Ojwang' is that he authored a judgment in respect to the Sony sugarbelt and in return was rewarded by Mr Obado, who allegedly built the road to the judge’s private residence on the outskirts of Migori Town.

Notably, street lights have been installed along the road leading to the judge’s residence.

At Justice Ojwang’s home, which residents said is always guarded by Administration Police officers, Sunday Nation only found employees.

One of the employees, a middle-aged woman, said the judge resided in Nairobi and only visited during holidays.

“The boss and his wife, Prof Colleta Suda were here during December holidays. When he comes, you may not notice his presence because he is a man of few words,” said the employee.

REASONABLE GROUNDS

The JSC said on Wednesday that the accusations against Justice Ojwang’ formed reasonable grounds to warrant the formation of the tribunal.

It singled out miscellaneous application No. 49 of 2014, of the town council of Awendo versus Mr Nelson Oduor Onyango and eight other residents of Migori.

"The petition detailed instances which the petitioners believed constituted grounds of misconduct, impropriety, conflict of interest and breach of the judicial code of conduct on the part of the judge," the JSC said in a statement.

It noted that Justice Ojwang’ sat with other judges of the Supreme Court in hearing the matter, "despite being conflicted and closely associated with Governor Obado".

The JSC said, "The commission found that the petition disclosed sufficient ground to warrant a recommendation to the President to set up a tribunal for the removal of Justice Ojwang and accordingly adopted it."