CJ Maraga con­venes first Supreme Court sit­ting yes­ter­day

The is­sues of the past bench are be­hind us. We have held a re­treat and there shouldn’t be any dif­fer­ences. We’ll tackle un­ac­cept­able back­log of 169 cases, CJ David Maraga

The Star (Kenya) - - Front Page - PETER NG’ETICH @pet­kich

New Chief Jus­tice David Maraga yes­ter­day said he will en­sure col­le­gial­ity and ef­fi­ciency in the Supreme Court, which pre­vi­ouly has been split into fac­tions.

“The is­sues of the past bench are be­hind us. We have held a week-long re­treat and there shouldn’t be any dif­fer­ences,” he said yes­ter­day.

Maraga spoke dur­ing the court’s first ses­sion in five months. Present were Deputy Chief Jus­tice Philom­ena Mwilu and Supreme Court judges Mo­hamed Ibrahim, Smokin Wan­jala, Jack­tone Ojwang and Njoki Ndung’u. Jus­tice Isaac Le­naola was ab­sent in Geneva, Switzer­land.

Se­nior coun­sels Bu­sia Se­na­tor Amos Wako, Fred Oji­ambo, Tom Ojienda, Paul Muite, Joyce Ma­jiwa and Ahmed­nasir Ab­du­lahi were present.

Maraga praised his pre­de­ces­sor Willy Mu­tunga for be­ing a pi­o­neer and re­former. He said the apex court will hold a stake­hold­ers’ meet­ing once a year.

Maraga said the court will clear the back­log of 169 pend­ing cases in the short­est time pos­si­ble.

“The back­log at the Supreme Court is at an un­ac­cept­able level. Coun­sels with the cases should ap­proach the court so we can clear them,” he said.

Direc­tor of Public Pros­e­cu­tions Ke­ri­ako To­biko said Maraga’s, Mwilu’s and Le­naola’s ex­pe­ri­ence will en­rich the bench.

“As cus­to­dian of the Con­sti­tu­tion, we ex­pect you to do your job. This in­cludes check­ing ex­cesses in the ex­ec­u­tive, leg­is­la­ture and other con­sti­tu­tional bod­ies with neu­tral­ity and in­de­pen­dence,” he said.

The DPP said his of­fice will co­op­er­ate with the court as it has with other lower courts.

Law So­ci­ety of Kenya chair­man Isaac Okero said there is re­lief now that the court is fully con­sti­tuted.

“It can now de­liver jus­tice to Kenyans. It is im­por­tant that the court main­tains its col­le­gial­ity,” he said.

PHOTO/ JACK OWUOR

/MONICAH MWANGI

Former ju­di­ciary of­fi­cial Martin Otieno Ok­wata, Kaikai Kissinger and Gla­dys Shollei in court yes­terda. They are charged with abuse of of­fice

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