By Isaiah Lucheli
Justice Mohamed Ibrahim has protested over a move by the Law Society of Kenya ( LSK) to give a legal opinion on the validity of his rulings.
“The publication deals with the merits of the review application which the judge filed and argued before the Board last week. By discussing and rejecting the basis of the application, you intend to influence the Board to arrive at a decision that is unfavourable to the judge. You have violated every norm of the sub-judice rule,” a protest letter written to Mutua read in part.
Through Ngatia and Associates advocate, the judge noted that the paid advertisement in a section of the media used to argue Mutua’s opinion was preceded by a press release, which was issued last Sunday.
“You have absolutely no adjudicative power to determine whether the judgments and rulings made by the judge are invalid. On the contrary, your opinion appears, on first legal principles, to be plainly wrong. That you would issue a plainly erroneous legal opinion in the name of the Law Society of Kenya is in itself a gross misconduct on your part,” the letter continued.
Ibrahim explained that at no time did LSK present a complaint to the then vetting board and added that by taking a partisan position regarding him, Mutua intended to deprive him of fair and equal treatment before the Board.
“You have not only misrepresented obvious facts but also willfully distorted numerous facts. This conduct is quite unworthy of a honourable society. Regrettably, you appear to have been co-opted by forces that have targeted certain judicial officers for removal at any cost, treachery and falsehoods included,” the judge said in the letter.
In one of the local newspapers on Wednesday, Mutua had explained that the LSK had received communication from the Chief Justice that all the pending 264 rulings by Ibrahim, some of which had lasted over eight years, had been completed and were being delivered.
He added the interpretation of the Judges and Magistrates Vetting Act and the Sixth Schedule was that once a judicial officer had been determined unsuitable to continue serving, shall be deemed to have been removed from service unless the decision is reviewed otherwise. He said recent actions from a section of LSK members, the Judiciary and the Executive point to a deliberate and well-calculated move to discredit the Board.