Supreme Court All you need to know about the 7 judges who will determine NASA case

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A few of the judges heard a similar case in the 2013 dispute in which Raila lost

play The Supreme Court of Kenya (Courtesy)

Just like in the 2013 highly protracted general election, NASA has opted to take the court route to seek redress for what it terms as a ‘computer generated leadership’.

The first case of this magnitude to be handled by this court was in 2013 when the then Coalition for Reform and Democracy (CORD) contested the election of President Uhuru Kenyatta.

At the end of the petition, the Supreme Court declined to nullify the election and affirmed the victory of Uhuru Kenyatta on March 30, 2013.  

  • Hon. David Kenani Maraga – CJ & President of the Court

David Maraga, 66, was born in Nyamira County in Gusii land and he assumed office as the CJ and president of the Supreme Court on 19th October 2016, after a rigorous vetting by the Judicial Service Commission. His major promise was to weed out corruption and expedite court proceedings in Kenya, a debut from the previous judicial regimes.

play David Kenani Maraga (Courtesy)

 

He holds a law degree from the University of Nairobi. He later obtained a Master of Laws from the same university. Dr Maraga also holds a post graduate diploma in law awarded in 1978 by the Kenya School of Law. In May 2012, Justice David Maraga stunned Kenyans when he stood before TV cameras and swore by the Bible that he had not and would never take a bribe. He is an ardent Adventist.

  • Hon. Lady Justice Philomena Mbete Mwilu - Deputy CJ & VP of the Court

Justice Mwilu is a graduate of the University of Nairobi (UoN) with a Bachelor of Law. After her graduation at UoN, she was admitted as an advocate of the High Court of Kenya in 1984.

Before her appointment to the Deputy CJ position, she was a court of Appeal judge. She has served in the Judiciary for 33 years. During an interview by the JSC last year in October, she said she that supported polygamy “as long as there is peace in the family”. She has practised law in the firms of Muthoga Gaturu & Company and later Mutunga & Company Advocates.

play Lady Justice Philomena Mbete Mwilu (Courtesy)

 

She has worked as company secretary headed a state corporation before being appointed as Judge of the High Court in 2007. She has served in the Commercial Division in Nairobi, the Eldoret High Court and the Civil Appeals subdivision of the High Court, the murder section of the Criminal Division and most recently headed the Environment and Land Division of the High Court

She also said that if appointed she would ask to head the anti-corruption docket, saying she was best suited to fight the vice. She has also served in the Commercial Division in Nairobi, at the Eldoret High Court and the Civil Appeals sub-division of the High Court, the murder section of the Criminal Division and later headed the Environment and Land Division of the High Court.

  • Hon. Mr. Justice Mohamed Khadhar Ibrahim

He is one of the judges who heard the Presidential petition case presented to court in 2013 by Raila Odinga. He dismissed the petition on March 30, 2013.

On June 16, 2016, Dr. Willy Mutunga who had served as the Chief Justice since June 2011 quit and named Justice Ibrahim - the senior-most of the Judges left in the Court - as the acting President of the Supreme Court pending the recruitment of a substantive Chief Justice.

play Justice Mohamed Khadhar Ibrahim (Courtesy)

 

After an initial round of vetting, the Kenya Judges and Magistrates Vetting Board found Justice Ibrahim unfit to serve due to a tendency to delay judgments and rulings while serving as a High Court judge. He was however found suitable to serve after fresh vetting.

In June 2012, he was among 5 Justices nominated to the Supreme Court of Kenya by the Judicial Service Commission (Kenya) which had interviewed 25 applicants.

  • Hon. Justice (Prof.) Jackton Boma Ojwang

Justice Dr Ojwang ails from Homa Bay County. He earned his undergraduate degree in Law at the University of Nairobi in 1974 and a master's degree at the same university in 1976. He later got a PhD degree in comparative constitutional law at Downing College in 1981.

He has worked as a lecturer and served as the Dean of the School of Law at the University of Nairobi between 2000 and 2003. He also holds a doctorate in Law from the University of Nairobi.

play Justice (Prof.) Jackton Boma Ojwang (Courtesy)

 

When Dr. Willy Mutunga retired from the Office of Chief Justice in June 2016, Justice (Prof) J. B. Ojwang was one of ten people who applied to replace him.

He was initially left out of the shortlist and interview schedule prepared by the Judicial Service Commission (JSC), but was later invited to interview for the job following a constitutional court case in which the JSC was compelled to interview all applicants who had met the minimum statutory requirements for the job.

  • Hon. Justice (Dr.) Smokin Wanjala

He holds a Ph.D. in law from University of Ghent, Belgium. He also holds a Master of Laws degree from the Columbia University in the US and a Bachelor of Laws (LLB) degree from the University of Nairobi.

He once lectured at the University of Nairobi for 15 years, where he taught international law, international human rights law, land law and criminal law.

play Justice (Dr.) Smokin Wanjala (Courtesy)

 

He served as a deputy director in charge of prevention of the now defunct Kenya Anti-Corruption Commission (now Ethics and Anticorruption Commission, EACC).

  • Hon. Lady Justice Njoki Susanna Ndung'u

She holds a Bachelor of Laws (LLB) from University of Nairobi and a Master of Laws (LLM) in Human Rights and Civil Liberties from the University of Leicester in the UK.

She began her career between 1989 and 1993 at the Office of the Attorney General as a State Counsel. She later worked as a Programme Officer (Civic Education) with the Institute For Education in Democracy until 1995 when she moved and worked for one year at UNHCR Kenya Branch Office as a National Protection Officer.  Between 2000 and 2002 she worked as a Political Analyst for the Organization of African Unity, (OAU).

 

Later, she joined politics to serve as a National Rainbow Coalition (NARC) nominated member of Parliament between 2003-2007 and served on the following Parliamentary Committees:

  • Departmental Committee on Administration of Justice and Legal Affairs

  • Departmental Committee on Defense and Foreign Affairs

  • Select Committee on the Constitution of Kenya

  • Committee on Conflict and International Cooperation (PAP)

  • Hon. Justice Isaac Lenaola

Justice Isaac Lenaola was born on 21st December 1967 in what is now Samburu County.

Before joining the Supreme Court of Kenya, Justice Isaac Lenaola was the presiding judge of the Constitution and Human Rights Division of the High Court and was deputy principal judge of the East Africa Court of Justice.

Justice Isaac Lenaola successfully joined the Supreme Court in late 2016 after a lengthy interview to fill the vacant positions left by Justice Philip Tunoi and Justice Kalpana Rawal who had attained the mandatory judicial retirement age of 70 years.

play Justice Isaac Lenaola (Courtesy)

 

He was awarded the Gandhi Smarak Nidhi Award for the best possible achievement in A-Levels in Kenya.

In 1987, Justice Isaac Lenaola joined the University of Nairobi for his LLB (Bachelor of Laws) studies and graduated with a Second Class Honours Upper Division in 1990.

In 1990, he joined the Kenya School of Law until the following year when he was admitted to the Bar.

 

 

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