A doctor in Nakuru County has moved to court to challenge President Uhuru Kenyatta’s move to reject six judges nominated for appointment by the Judicial Service Commission (JSC).
President Kenyatta on Thursday, June 3, appointed 34 judges from a list of 41 submitted by JSC and left out the six that included George Odunga, Aggrey Muchelule, Joel Ngugi, Weldon Korir, Judith Cheruiyot and Evans Makori.
Dr Magare Gikenyi, a general surgeon undertaking trauma consultancy at the Nakuru Level Five Hospital, wants the court to declare the nominees duly appointed.
He argues that the President’s action contravenes the law hence should be quashed.
The petitioner wants the court to order the six judges to be sworn in within 14 days and be allocated duties within 30 days and their pay grades revised immediately to fit their new roles in the third arm of government.
Being a doctor, the petitioner also argues that the affected judicial officers have suffered PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder) by the action of the president.
He wants an order issued of compensation for psychological and other forms of suffering as a result of the president and respondents’ actions.
The Head of State has been listed as the first respondent, the attorney general as the second respondent, Chief Justice Martha Koome as third respondent and the attorney general in his individual capacity as 4th respondent.
The 34 judges appointed by President Kenyatta were sworn in on Friday at State House in Nairobi despite opposition from the Law Society of Kenya and Katiba Institute.
Katiba Institute had unsuccessfully attempted to stop the swearing-in pending appointment of the six judges that were left out by the President.
Representatives from the two bodies had termed the move by President Kenyatta as cherry-picking, saying the swearing-in of the 34 would violate the Constitution as well as the rights of the remaining six.
The President had questioned the judges’ reputation.
Justice George Odunga and Joel Ngugi were among a five-judge bench of the High Court that recently declared President Kenyatta’s pet project, Building Bridges Initiative (BBI), unconstitutional, null and void.
The President’s action was seen as punitive to the judges who had been nominated for appointment to the Appellate court.