Chebukati left off Court of Appeal judges' shortlist as Isaack Hassan enlisted

Former IEBC Chairman Isaack Hassan at County Hall, Nairobi. [Boniface Okendo, Standard]

Immediate former Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) chairperson Wafula Chebukati has failed to make the cut for the Judicial Service Commission (JSC) shortlist for judges of the Court of Appeal.

The JSC has shortlisted 41 candidates for the Court of Appeal judge position, out of 82 who expressed interest.

The 41 include former IEBC Chair Ahmed Isaack Hassan, who will face the interview panel on Monday, June 6.

Isaack Hassan was at the helm of the electoral body and oversaw the disputed 2013 presidential vote, but left office as demanded by then Raila Odinga- led opposition who questioned the integrity of the polls.

Other shortlisted candidates are Justices from lower courts and renowned lawyers including Justices Nduma Nderi, Chacha Mwita, Hedwig Ong’udi, Antony Mrima, Grace Nzioka, Elijah Ogoti, Alfred Mabeya and President Ruto’s lawyer at the International Criminal Court (ICC) Katwa Kigen.

Advocate of the High Court and former Nyeri County Woman Representative Priscilla Nyokabi has also missed out.

JSC plans to appoint eleven judges to fill vacancies in the Court of Appeal.

According to the Commission, an announcement of the vacant positions on February 9 attracted eighty-two applications.

Applications were made by the February 29 deadline.

The candidates will take turns before the interview panel from June 3 to June 20 at the CBK Pension Towers in Nairobi.

Names of the eleven successful candidates will then be forwarded to President Ruto for appointment; in a move that will help reduce the backlog of cases in the courts partly brought about by a shortage of judges to hear and determine the cases.

At the same time, interviews for judges of the High Court are ongoing to fill twenty vacancies. The process is chaired by Chief Justice Martha Koome.