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Scandals and past rulings end careers of four senior judges

Updated Thursday, April 26th 2012 at 00:00 GMT +3
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By Wahome Thuku and Isaiah Lucheli

It was long buried and forgotten, or so it appeared, but the Goldenberg scandal returned with devastating effect on Wednesday, ending the colourful careers of two senior Court of Appeal judges.

And with it came renewed hope that the radical surgery of the Judiciary long sought by Kenyans

Chairman of the Judges and Magistrates Vetting Board Sharad Rao presenting the board’s report on Wednesday. [Photo: Govedi Asutsa/Standard]

to restore confidence in the courts is finally on course.

The two are Justice Samuel Bosire, and Justice Joseph Gregory Nyamu and their fates are tied to cases they presided over in the long drawn Sh5.8 billion scandal, the first mega-corruption case in Kenya’s history since Independence.

They are among four Court of Appeal judges dropped from the Judiciary on Wednesday in the first phase of a process that looks likely to claim more casualties in coming weeks.

The others are President of the Kenyan Appellate Court, Justice Samuel Cornelius Riaga Omolo and Justice Emmanuel Okelo O’Kubasu. The careers of the four hit sudden death based on decisions dating years back after being declared unfit to continue in office by a vetting process that begins its second phase this morning.

Apparently, the infamous Goldenberg scandal, whose alleged chief architect Kamlesh Pattni, is hauled to court on the eve of virtually every General Election since Kenya became a multi-party state, returned to haunt judges Bosire and Nyamu in a peculiar way.

Bosire suffered for ignoring orders issued by Nyamu in 2006 to have 10 prominent personalities summoned to testify before the Golden Commission of Inquiry. Bosire was then the commission chairman while Nyamu was High Court judge.

Consequences

But the consequences of the decisions announced by the Judges and Magistrates Vetting Board Wednesday could have more implications since under the law, all the judgements that led to the removal of the four could be reviewed by the Supreme Court and reversed.

One such judgement that will now be in focus is the decision that permanently stopped the then impending trial of Internal Security Minister George Saitoti over the Goldenberg scandal. This was the judgement that has knocked Nyamu out of the Judiciary, ending his career on the Bench.

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