Africa-Press – Kenya. Senior Counsel Ahmednasir Abdullahi has weighed in on the rot at the Judiciary and detailed how the exposés dubbed Sonko leaks by former Nairobi Governor, Mike Sonko, have caused panic within the third arm of the government.
Speaking on NTV on Tuesday, November 23, Ahmednasir stated that the exposés by Mike Sonko forced the Judicial Service Commission (JSC) under Chief Justice Martha Karambu Koome to act over fear of repercussions.
Sonko, in a series of posts, alleged that some Judges received bribes and colluded with lawyers to bungle cases and deny other parties justice.
“In the old days, people used to do it but they were very scared, but now Judges know that there is no punishment and nothing will happen to them. The Judicial Service Commission has let down Kenyans; Sonko tapes has made them go helter-skelter.
“The Judiciary, as currently constituted is incapable of reforming itself. The next government must reform the Judiciary and address graft. There should be a lifestyle audit. You hear Judges buying things and building properties, where’s this money coming from,” Ahmednasir wondered, while also taking a sweep at CJ Koome.
He further alleged that the Judges selling justice are the most hardworking, in terms of the turnaround of judgments. Ahmednasir claimed that the more decisions they make, the more money they make.
Graft through kickbacks, he stated, has affected the Judiciary for years. However, the vice, according to the Senior Counsel, has escalated in recent years. He disclosed that during his tenure as Law Society of Kenya (LSK) President, the society reviewed Judges and established that nearly 50 per cent of the Judiciary was rotten.
“It is very painful to argue a case before a Judge you know has been compromised. You look so stupid, but you have to do it. You know that what you are doing is useless because the result has been compromised.
“Graft in the Judiciary is like a business now, and it’s the Judges who run it. They lobby it, they broker the deals, they bribe… lawyers have been thrown out of that business now,” he lamented.
Lawyer Charles Kanjama admitted that graft was rampant in the Judiciary, but urged lawyers and Kenyans to trust in the incumbent CJ to make reforms.
“We need to give CJ Martha Koome to battle graft in the Judiciary… we should call out judicial incompetence and compromise when we see it but also appreciate and complement Judges who are working hard.
“As a law practitioner, I always want to give the benefit of doubt to anyone accused… It would be naive to say that there’s no compromise in the Judiciary. My biggest concern is, institutions meant to process the evidence don’t seem to be working,” Kanjama weighed in.
He called on President Uhuru Kenyatta to appoint six Judges he rejected, to reduce the backlog and also allow Koome to streamline the Judiciary.
JSC initiated the process of kicking out Justice Said Chitembwe, who was mentioned in the Sonko exposé.
The commission granted Chitembwe the right to reply and directed him to file a detailed response regarding the allegations within 14 days of service.
“We will deal firmly and swiftly but also fairly with any allegations or cases that implicate anyone within the Judiciary in unlawful activities,” CJ Koome stated.