Nairobi — The Judicial Service Commission now says it has entered into talks with suspended Chief Registrar of the Judiciary Gladys Shollei to settle her petition out of court. The commission says through its lawyers it has opened up negotiations with a view of resolving the dispute with Shollei amicably.
JSC's lawyer Paul Muite told High Court judge David Majanja that they need at least two days to finalise the discussions. The case is now due on Friday to update the court on whether the matter has been resolved.
Shollei last Thursday obtained orders blocking two JSC committees from investigating her over allegations of malpractice. She complained to court that the JSC was acting as an accuser, a prosecutor and a judge in the same cause and urged the court to protect her.
In her suit papers, Shollei wants the court to block the JSC from taking any disciplinary action against her until a case seeking to stop Commissioners Ahmednasir Abdullahi, Mohammed Warsame and Emily Ominde from sitting in any committee against her is heard and determined. "The three commissioners told me to my face that I will pay for any refusal to accede to their demands," she had complained in her court documents.
Last week, Shollei told the parliamentary Legal Affairs Committee that the three commissioners were victimising her and trying to settle personal scores because of her hard work and determination to reform the Judiciary. She insisted that she was unfairly sent on compulsory leave on Monday following a decision of the Judicial Service Commission reached in Mombasa which was held on August 17.
"They have destroyed me and so I will not lie about it because this is something that I can always confirm any time," she told the committee. In court, Shollei through lawyer Donald Kipkorir, reiterated her concerns to the court saying the decision to send her home had been influenced by the three commissioners and had no legal basis.
Kipkorir told the court that the decision was not only unconstitutional and improper but also an abuse of power. "I understand that the decision was not unanimous. Whereas the JSC has made its decision, I reserve the right to contest the process and procedure used. I am aware that this might be construed that I have something to hide. I do not," she said last week after Chief Justice Willy Mutunga announced the JSC resolution.
Shollei had accused Abdullahi of trying to arm twist her into awarding companies associated with him contracts worth Sh1 billion to implement the Judiciary's ICT project. She further accused the lawyer of pushing her into buying a Court of Appeal building in Mombasa from his associates.
Shollei also dragged Commissioner Warsame in the saga accusing him of trying to use his position to compel her to employ people from his community.
"He has constantly taunted me about hiring people. In fact one time he told me 'hatujakula matunda ya Uhuru ya kazi yako (we have not gained anything from your position). You've never hired anybody for me. Mrs Ochieng used to hire for me 30 people whenever I wanted'," alleged Shollei.
Commissioner Ominde is on the other hand being accused of hounding Shollei and trying to use her position in the commission to order her around. Under Sections 12 and 13 of the JSC Act, Shollei noted that she can only be suspended or removed from office after due process.
The JSC had been directed by the Chief Justice to constitute two committees to probe Shollei's conduct. The two committees had been given 15 days within which to carry out the investigations.
Rob is the Special Projects Editor. He has special liking for digital media being the first Online Editor for Capital Group. He likes blogging on day-to-day issues, views and news making headlines locally and on the global front. He is a student of Journalism and Related studies at the University of Nairobi and holds a diploma in Mass Communication.