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XINHUA NEWS SERVICE REPORTS FROM THE AFRICAN CONTINENT

 

President forms tribunal to probe top judge over abuse of office

NAIROBI (Xinhua) -- Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta on Tuesday evening formed a seven-member tribunal to probe the conduct of Supreme Court judge Jackson Ojwang.

In a Special Gazette notice seen on Wednesday, Kenyatta said that the judge stands suspended pending the outcome of the tribunal.

The tribunal will be chaired by Justice Alnashir Visram and will have six other members.

"With the formation of the tribunal, the Judge stands suspended from exercising the functions of his office according to Article 168 (5) of the Constitution," Kenyatta said in the notice.

He mandated the tribunal to prepare and submit a report and its recommendation to him expeditiously.

The probe will include allegations contained in the petition by the Judicial Service Commission of Kenya filed by Nelson Oduor Onyango and eight others regarding the conduct of Justice Ojwang.

The tribunal has been appointed following recommendations of the Judicial Service Commission (JSC). The judge will remain in office if found not guilty and removed if found guilty.

According to JSC, the petition detailed instances which the petitioners believed constituted grounds of misconduct, impropriety, conflict of interest and breach of judicial code of conduct on the part of the Judge.

JSC had said Justice Ojwang refused to attend a hearing where he would have been accorded an opportunity to defend himself.

"Upon presentation of the report by the JSC committee, the full commission deliberated on the same at great length and found that the petition had disclosed sufficient grounds to warrant a recommendation to the President to set up a tribunal for removal of Justice Jacktone Ojwang, and accordingly adopted it," Chief Justice David Maraga said on March 13.

           

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