7-member tribunal set to begin Judge Jackton Ojwang probe


7-member tribunal set to begin Judge Jackton Ojwang probe
File image of Supreme Court judge Jackton Boma Ojwang. PHOTO| COURTESY

In Summary

  • The hearing, according to a pre-trial session conducted Monday morning, will be held behind closed doors hence no media coverage will be present.
  • Justice Ojwang is alleged to have benefited from the construction of a road leading to his rural house in Migori County, after issuing a favourable ruling in a Sony Sugar belt case that Governor Okoth Obado supposedly had interests in.

A seven-member tribunal appointed to investigate the conduct of embattled Supreme Court Judge Jackton Ojwang is set to begin their probe on July 15, 2019.

The hearing, according to a pre-trial session conducted Monday morning, will be held behind closed doors hence no media coverage will be present.

The tribunal will be chaired by Court of Appeal judge Alnashir Visram with the members including; retired judge Festus Azangalala, Ambrose Weda, Andrew Bahati Mwamuye, Lucy Kambuni, Sylvia Wanjiku Muchiri and Amina Abda.

Lawyers Paul Nyamodi and Stella Munyi were also appointed by President Uhuru Kenyatta as Counsel to assist the tribunal.

Justice Ojwang, in a petition filed before the Judicial Service Commission , is alleged to have benefited from the construction of a road leading to his rural house in Migori County, after issuing a favourable ruling in a Sony Sugar belt case that Governor Okoth Obado supposedly had interests in.

The petition, filed by one Nelson Oduor Onyango and 8 others, cited grounds of misconduct, impropriety, conflict of interest and breach of judicial code of conduct for the removal of Ojwang.

In its decision to recommend formation of a tribunal, the Judicial Service Commission (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.”

President Kenyatta, while appointing the tribunal in a Special Gazette notice dated March 29, 2019, said Justice Ojwang had been suspended with immediate effect pending conclusion of the probe.

The judge was previously summoned to appear before a JSC Committee but he refused and instead sent his lawyer Nani Mungai to represent him.

A team from the tribunal is expected to visit the site in Migori during the course of the week.

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Story By Dzuya Walter
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