Kenya: NIS Flagged Nine of the 41 Judges Set for Promotion

7 November 2019

The National Intelligence Service (NIS) had flagged nine judges seeking to be promoted to serve in the Appellate Court during their vetting process, the Nation has learnt.

Adverse reports had been made against the judges following complaints levelled against them.

Their names are contained in correspondence between the Judicial Service Commission (JSC) and the NIS regarding their background checks.

Statutory timelines.

The spy agency also flagged three lawyers in the list sent to JSC through a letter dated July 5 from Major-General Philip Kameru, addressed to Chief Registrar Anne Amadi.

COMPLAINTS

Complaints were levelled against 21 of the 127 applicants but only the nine judges and three lawyers were blacklisted.

In filed case documents, JSC accuses NIS of refusing to provide specific information against the affected judges even after being given an extended period to do so.

"We shall highly appreciate if you can provide us with more information by July 15 since the selection process has statutory timelines," said Ms Amadi in her response to NIS on July 9.

As of July 15, JSC claims it granted NIS seven more days to provide particulars of the adverse reports of the affected candidates.

The commission did not get any further information from the NIS concerning the allegations up to July 21, and went ahead to finalise its recruitment process.

QUALIFICATIONS

Interviews for 35 candidates seeking promotion were held between June 17-27.

Only 10 High Court judges and one lawyer were recommended for promotion to the Appellate Court.

JSC admits that complaints received from the public and State agencies were served upon candidates for their response. Several did not make it to the final list.

In an attempt to defend the judges recommended for promotion, JSC claims there was particularised information against those who never made it to the list, which the commission received and considered.

The commission insists those recommended were listed after a rigorous vetting process, which included comprehensive consideration of their character, integrity and professional qualifications.

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