Courts to work extra hours to receive petitions and arraigned abductees, CJ Koome says

Chief Justice Martha Koome. [David Gichuru, Standard]

Chief Justice Martha Koome has directed the courts to work extra hours, to receive any petitions presented by Kenyans.

Her statement came minutes before Members of the National Assembly passed the controversial Finance Bill, 2024 despite nationwide protests opposing the bill.

In a statement, Koome also said the courts are ready to take in cases of people abducted in line with the ongoing protests, in case they are arraigned.

While condemning the abduction allegations, she has also reminded law enforcers of the constitutional right of all suspects to be charged within 24 hours after arrest.

"I take this opportunity to assure the nation that tilt courts are prepared to operate beyond standard working hours if the abducted persons are presented before court and also to consider any petitions for habeas corpus. This commitment is to ensure that our nation continues on the path of the rule of law and constitutionalism..." Koome said.

"I have noted with deep concern the numerous allegations regarding the abductions of protesters amid the ongoing mass protests in our country. Such actions, executed by persons not identifying themselves and without presenting the abducted individuals before a court of law, amount to a direct assault on the rule of law, human rights, and constitutionalism, which are our guiding national values and principles of governance as enshrined in Article 10 of the Constitution,"she added.

Since Friday, social media influencers have been abducted by unknown men in civilian clothes aboard vehicles with no registration numbers.

Those abducted include son of Attorney General Justin Muturi who was abducted in Kilimani, Nairobi but was later released.