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Opinion: Was senior Counsel Fred Ngatia Shortchanged?

Congratulations Lady Justice Martha Koome but please allow us some liberty to come to and interrogate the allegations that yours was not as transparent as you would be have wished it to be.

Soon after the announcement of the Lady Justice Martha Koome as the nominee for the appointment to the office of the CJ, it was revealed to all and sundry that indeed the whole exercise was not without a blot. The Senior council Fred Ngatia is allegedly quoted to have decried foul play in an exercise that denied him to preside over not only the apex court but most importantly, the entire Judiciary. According to Ngatia, four commissioners from Mt. Kenya region with "orders from above" gave him significantly low marks so that he would place low below the favourite candidate of the said powers.

Whether that is true or not the fact is the whole exercise has been dented with controversy. Prior to the decoration, a team of lawyers had gone to court challenging the validity of the process. First, it was the process of the Public Service Commission nominee long after his retirement from the service. This was also amplified by the controversy over who between Professor Olive Mugenda and DCJ Philomena Mwilu was supposed to chair the entire process. Matters challenging this process were knocked out court following a technicality on whether the court had jurisdiction over the matter?

All said and done, can a Chief Justice be a product of an illegality?

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Fred Ngatia Martha Koome Mt. Kenya Ngatia


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