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JSC writes to Ruto over removal of Justice Mohammed & sacks principal magistrate

The Judicial Service Commission (JSC) has given an update over petitions to remove Justice Mohammed Noor Kullow from office

Chief Justice Martha Koome during a past function

According to a statement by Chief Justice Martha Koome seen by the news desk on March 6, the JSC on diverse dates received a total of five petitions for the removal of Justice Mohammed Noor Kullow from office as Judge of the Environment and Land Court for alleged violations of the Constitution of Kenya 2010 and the Judicial Service Code of Conduct.

In addition, upon receipt of several complaints, the JSC on May 31, 2023 resolved on its own motion, to initiate proceedings for the removal of Justice Kullow from office, for inordinately delaying or failing to deliver rulings or judgements in a total of 116 matters.

Consequently, the commission appointed a panel to consider the petitions as provided under the Judicial Service Act No. 1 of 2011. The panel presented its reports to the JSC on February 22, 2024.

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The commission was satisfied that 3 out of the 5 petitions as well as the proceedings at the commission's own motion had disclosed grounds for the removal of Justice Kullow from office over gross misconduct; incompetence and violation of the Judicial Service Code of Conduct.

Two Ppetitions were dismissed for failure to disclose sufficient grounds for removal.

The commission has petitioned President William Ruto to appoint a tribunal in accordance with Article 168 (4) & (5) of the Constitution.

The JSC has also resolved to dismiss Patrick Wambugu, Principal Magistrate from service for gross misconduct.

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Wambugu was accused of irregularly altering bond terms that resulted in the release of an accused person who had been charged with defilement of a six-year-old minor. The accused person has since jumped bail.

Further to the press statement by the commission dated January 15, 2024, in which the commission undertook to provide periodic reports on the number and status of complaints and petitions received; the Commission confirms that since January 2023 to date, it has received 85 petitions/complaints against judges.

A total of 37 were dismissed on grounds that they were based on merits or decisional independence of a judge. Of the remaining petitions, 30 are pending preliminary evaluation before the commission; 11 are awaiting responses from judges concerned; 3 petitions have been admitted for hearing; and 4 petitions have been forwarded to President Ruto for appointment of a tribunal.

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In the same period, the commission received 4 disciplinary cases against judicial officers from the Office of the Chief Justice.

Upon consideration, the commission dismissed 1 judicial officer from service; dismissed 1 disciplinary case for insufficient evidence while 2 of the cases are ongoing.

The commission wishes to assure the people of Kenya of its commitment to the values of integrity and accountability in the Judiciary and reiterates its dedication to discharge its mandate in accordance with the Constitution and the law.

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Email: news@pulselive.co.ke

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