Lawyer Fred Ngatia reveals how his association with Uhuru was terminated

No Kenyan, properly informed would see me as being influenced by the President - Ngatia

Lawyer Fred Ngatia who represented President Uhuru Kenyatta during the 2017 Supreme Court presidential petition

The Judicial Service Commission (JSC) on Tuesday interviewed President Uhuru Kenyatta's lawyer, Senior Counsel Fred Ngatia, as the seventh candidate for the Chief Justice and President of the Supreme Court of Kenya job.

In the interview, Justice David Majanja weighed in on a question most Kenyans have been asking about Ngatia’s relationship with President Uhuru Kenyatta.

You talked about perceptions and how perception is important in terms of accountability. I will ask you a personal question. You represented His Excellency The President on the petitions he’s had. Obviously, there’s someone in the public who feels that if Fred Ngatia is appointed as Chief Justice, he’s very close to the house on the hill and that will affect his independence (in judging),” asked Majanja.

In his response, Ngatia noted that he had ceased acting for the President after 2017 and went back to his private practice.

I would wish to inform Kenyans and the JSC that I was appointed in 2013 to lead a team. I was instructed to do the same in 2017. But despite acting for the President elect in 2013, as soon as the brief was over, I went back to my private practice and that relationship of me acting for the president never continued. That is why you did not see me in any line up for conferment of chairmanship or directorship for state corporations,” came Ngatia's explanation.

Ngatia further added that the President has never tried to influence or interfere in his work, giving an example of his case against Education Cabinet Secretary, George Magoha.

The President has at no time tried to interfere or influence me in any work that I have done. Last year, a Cabinet Secretary tried to interfere with the appointment of the Vice Chancellor of The University of Nairobi. I went pretty heavy on the CS and he conceded his actions were wrongful.

“In other words, no Kenyan, properly informed would see me as being influenced by the President. I have worked for any Kenyan who has sought my service, I have worked for condemned prisoners, 5000 of them. I am not in any way influenced,” he explained.

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