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JSC Commissioner Reveals Secret CJ Rankings During Interview

  • Judicial Service Commission (JSC) Commissioner Macharia Njeru on Wednesday, May 5, inadvertently shared details of the rankings for Chief Justice candidates that have remained secret since the nomination of Martha Koome. 

    Macharia disclosed that Justice Edward Ouko was a top contender for the Chief Justice position in the rankings that have been shrouded in secrecy and allegations of rigging.

    Njeru was speaking during Ouko’s interview for the Supreme Court Judge when he praised him for his humility and mentioned the statement in passing.

    “I’m impressed by your humility and of course you were one of the leading candidates for the CJ position and you have taken it in stride and a lot of humility,” he began.

    Members of the Judicial Service Commission
    Members of the Judicial Service Commission
    Twitter

    Since the announcement of the Chief Justice position nominee, the JSC had kept mum on how they ranked the 10 candidates who were seeking the position. The commission has already been sued by US-based Kenyan lawyer Makau Mutua to reveal its ranking criteria and marks scored by each candidate. 

    A former CJ candidate, Senior Counsel Fred Ngatia, has sensationally claimed that he was rigged out at the last minute.

    The Law Society of Kenya supported Ngatia and criticised Njeru for reportedly giving him 42 per cent in the interviews. JSC did not dispute both claims by Ngatia and by LSK. 

    Already, two candidates who had presented themselves for the CJ position, justice David Marete and Nduma Nderi, have already been interviewed for the position of Supreme Court Judge but have not been given the same heads up.

    “What makes you a humble person who is able to take results of a situation in stride and move on because it is something that lacks in many of us,” Njeru posed to Ouko.

    Humbled by the sentiments, Ouko attributed the quality to his upbringing and training.

    “I have been taught to respect others and not talk at the top of my voice,” he said.

    Given the job, the 60-year-old maintained that he would use the same attributes to ensure that he went about his duties.

    “I will use the attributes to resolve conflict, see other people’s point of view, to be patient and slow to anger. If am honoured with the appointment, the same attributes will not change,” Ouko said.

    The Court of Appeal judge is respected for his work in improving the conditions of service and institutionalising retirement benefits for judicial officers.

    He is a custodian of many judicial traditions and customs because of his massive institutional memory.

    Justice William Ouko at the launch of the Guide to Court Reporting in Kenya on September 15, 2020
    Justice William Ouko at the launch of the Guide to Court Reporting in Kenya on September 15, 2020
    File
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