In the wake of yesterday’s unanimous decision by the Judicial Service Commission in nominating Martha Koome to the post of Chief Justice, former JSC member, lawyer Tom Ojienda has now come out to issue a statement that is, without a doubt, expected to lower the credibility of the nominating body.
Ojienda, who served as a member of the body during the time when the vetting process that brought to power David Maraga was unfolding, confessed to the fact that during this selection process, members of the committee usually undergo intense and incessant pressure from powers outside the court.
The lawyer, who was on the JSC bench as a representative of the Law Society of Kenya in 2016, was speaking on KTN’s night political and current affairs show, Newsline, which was hosted by Ben Kitili.
When asked about lobbying and external pressure and whether it exists, Ojienda confessed that “loads and loads” of it does exist.
He disclosed that back in 2016, they received strange phone calls so much that it got to a point where they were forced to begin leaving their phones in the office.
Ojienda also sought to allay fears that the composition of the court now made the government stand the risk of being declared unconstitutional due to the ethnic imbalance.
All the three arms of the government, Executive, Legislature and Judiciary, will now be headed by persons from the Mount Kenya region if Koome’s appointment goes through.
Ojienda however said that the Executive couldn’t be relied upon as an example of balanced representation since it’s always very difficult to exert equal representation in elective posts.
But for the Legislature, he denied that it was under a Mount Kenya individual, saying that Senate was under Lusaka who is from Western, while the National Assembly is under Justin Muturi from Embu.
He said that since Martha Koome was from Meru, this meant that all the heads of the three arms of government came from different counties.