By SAM ALFAN
Service Commission lawyer Paul Muite addressing the members of the press yesterday outside Milimani law court.
The High court has today ordered six Judicial Service Commission members to remain in office until an application filed by the JSC seeking to quash the gazettement of a tribunal by the president to investigate them is heard and determined,
High Court Judge George Odunga also barred the four-member tribunal appointed by the President Uhuru Kenyatta last Friday resident from beginning its work.
The judge said Parliament acted in contempt of court orders that blocked Parliament and the Departmental Committee on Justice and Legal Affairs from debating the petition seeking the removal of six Judicial Service Commission members from office.
Article 1(1) of the constitution state that,
” all sovereign power belongs to the people of Kenya and shall be exercised only in accordance with this constitution and since the courts are the temples of justice and the last frontier of the rule of law, court decisions must of necessity be respected and the dignity of the court upheld at all times”
The judge has also ordered that the file be placed before the CJ today to constitute a three judge bench to hear the matte.
The court added that, it is clear that the issues cannot be investigated without the said persons being given an opportunity to be heard in this petition and by not doing so will be breach of the rules on the natural justice.
President Uhuru Kenyatta last week a tribunal to investigate six judicial service commissions led by former anti-corruption boss justice Aaron Gitonga Ringera.
He said : “The Chairperson and the members of the Tribunal appointed vide gazette Notice dated 29th November,2013 are hereby barred from commencing the investigations into the conduct of the six commissioners pending the hearing and determination of the Notice of motion dated December 2, 2013 with all parties present.”
The judge granted stay orders of the gazette Notice No. 15094 appointing the Tribunal members chaired by Aaron Ringera.The suspended members of the tribunal consists of Jennifer Shamallah, Ambrose Otieno Weda and Mutua Kilaka.
JSC through Lawyer Paul Muite filed proceedings, in which they argued that President Uhuru Kenyatta acted unconstitutionally when he suspended the commissioners.
The commissioners; Ahmednasir Abdullahi, Samuel Kobia, Christine Mango, Justice Mohamed Wasarme, Emily Ominde and Florence Mwangangi were suspended on Friday by president Uhuru who promised that the judiciary will not be compromised in issuing justice in the court rooms.
The six members has earlier indicated that they wont appear before the tribunal since ringera had applied for the position of Chief justice and they didn’t list him for the position.
The judge said he would not like to deal with parliament’s defiance to the court order at the stage, and allowed the amendment of the petition to enjoin the Tribunal members mentioned as respondents in the matter.
The judge reinstated the six commissioners by saying that his orders of on 30th October, 2013, restraining the Justice and Legal Affairs Committee of the National assembly from debating the petition before it pending inter partes hearing of the matter was still in force.
Justice Odunga said that the court order barring parliament from discussing suspension of the members was still on course.Jubilee senators lead by Tharaka Nithi senator who is the majority leader in the senate were responding to critics and shall be critics by CORD leaders who accused the president move to appoint the tribunal.
The president move to appoint the tribunal has caused alarm from various quarters by CORD protesting the move by the president.But in a quick move, senators allied to jubilee alliances defended the president decision saying he was following parliament directions.