Cyprian Is Nyakundi
Opinion

[OPINION] Justice Ojwang: Will He Or Will He Not Resign?

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Supreme Court Justice Professor Jackton Ojwang is a man under siege.

Currently, the professor of law is facing a purge. He was summoned by the Judicial Service Commission (JSC) to answer to allegations of bribery and corruption, but he refused to appear.

Ojwang allegedly referred to the JSC commissioners as, “service providers of unschooled people.”

Now the JSC has moved to recommend President Uhuru Kenyatta to form a tribunal to investigate his conduct, setting in motion the process of removing him from office.

Refusing to appear before JSC on Tuesday, the Justice had insisted that he enjoys constitutional immunity and that the commission does not have the mandate to investigate him.

It is a matter of time before he is removed, or is it?

A quick history tells us that he has always found himself ‘thrown outside’.

Flashback to when he was a lecturer, at University of Nairobi, School of law Parklands campus. He was thrown out by students. The professor was then helped by the corrupt Moi, who took him up and made him a high court judge. Senior Counsel Ahmednasir Abdullahi claims

Ojwang has also been fingered, by an ODM blogger, for being partisan during the election petition of 2013.

In the 2013 elections, despite overwhelming evidence of malpractice in that over 2 million votes weren’t accounted for, the judge was the most vocal of them all, towing Jubilee party’s line.

His judgements have always been questionable, not to mention that his wife, Professor Collette Suda, was appointed by Uhuru as Principal Secretary, University Education, and Research.

Was the appointment of his wife a token of appreciation from the head of state?

Is Proff. Jackton Ojwang impartial?

The allegations of misconduct before JSC

First, a petition filed by Nelson Oduor Onyango from Migori detailed instances which the petitioners believed constituted grounds of misconduct, impropriety, conflict of interest and breach of the judicial code of conduct on the part of the judge. Ojwang is said to have written a favourable judgment with respect to the Sony Sugar belt and in return was rewarded by Governor Obado, who allegedly built a road to his private residence on the outskirts of Migori town.

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Secondly, former Law Society of Kenya CEO Lawyer Apollo Mboya wants Justice Ojwang and two other namely Justices Mohamed Ibrahim and Njoki Ndung’u disciplined.

Mboya accuses them of writing a judgment despite a pending disciplinary matter.

Other crimes

The judge is also alleged to have received other ‘gifts’ from Migori Governor Obado to rule in favor of the governor in the Petion No. 4 of 2014; Obado Vs Oyugi. This was concerning the 2013 elections where Edward Okong’o Oyugi wanted the Supreme court to invalidate the election of the governor as was done by the Court of Appeal.

Pictures have emerged online showing a building, some say a mall, under construction allegedly belonging to him.

MALL: This picture shows an buidling under construction allegedly belonging to Supreme Court Judge Proff. Jackton Ojwang

With the mounting revelations of misconduct, partisan behavior, demeaning the summons from JSC, we can only wait to see what the tribunal will decide and what eventually President Uhuru Kenyatta will do, to his ‘friend in crime’.

Some analysts doubt that Uhuru will let him go. Others say it is best for him (Ojwang) to resign.

Ironically, Justice Ojwang was part of the judges in ‘the purge’ done in the Kibaki regime, that was aimed at getting rid of corrupt judges and magistrates

Let’s wait and see.


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