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Magistrates and Judges call for safety of five colleagues after BBI judgment

NATIONAL
By Winfrey Owino | May 18th 2021
Justices Joel Ngugi, George Odunga, Jairus Ngaah, Chacha Mwita, and Teresia Matheka are the five judges of the High court who gave one of the historic judgements that elicited mixed reactions in the country. [File, Standard]

Kenya Magistrates and Judges Association (KMJA) has called on government security agencies to ensure the safety of the five judges who made the BBI Judgement on Thursday, May 13.

This comes days after a five-judge bench gave its judgement on the BBI petitions which had been consolidated, rendering the process unconstitutional, null and void.

KMJA Secretary General Derrick Kuto called upon the Ministry of Interior to assure the judges of their safety given the sensitive nature of their work and the people they might cross while dispensing justice.

In addition, the Association also condemned the daily verbal attacks on the individual judges who sat on the bench terming them as ‘ancient, irresponsible and retrogressive’.

Kuto went on to ask the Inspector General of Police to investigate and prosecute culprits for verbally attacking the legal minds.

“Kenyan judiciary is respected globally for its decisions. We should be proud of our judges for offering jurisprudential leadership worldwide,” read the statement in part.

According to the Magistrates and Judges Association, direct attacks on judges’ decisional independence and the rule of law will not hinder them from dispensing their duties independently.

The five judges of the High court that gave one of the historic judgements that elicited mixed reactions in the country are Justices Joel Ngugi, George Odunga, Jairus Ngaah, Chacha Mwita, and Teresia Matheka.

The five have been hailed by a section of leaders in the country as ‘bold’.

Others, who are pro-BBI accepted the results with a promise of an Appeal.

Insisting that the ‘BBI reggae’ had not stopped, Atwoli said that “the verdict was an attack on President Uhuru Kenyatta by the five judges. This shows openly that they had a predetermined decision. President Kenyatta should take stringent action(s) against the five. BBI is still on course.”

In line with the 500-page judgement, dubbed ‘BBI Night of Shock’, Elgeyo Marakwet Senator Kipchumba Murkomen took to Twitter to say: “When the history of Kenya is properly written, the contribution of [the five judges] will be written in golden letters. They are part of the few remaining Kenyan prophets who have not bowed down to Baal. God bless you.”

On the other hand, ODM leader Raila Odinga accepted the judgement given and said that his team will move to court to appeal the decision.

President Uhuru Kenyatta has not commented on the court’s decision yet.

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