Differences has emerged at the Law Society of Kenya (LSK) after the society’s vice president Faith Waigwa contradicted the position taken by Isaac Okero on the probe against Supreme Court Registrar Esther Nyaiyaki.
Mr Okero, who is the LSK President, had written to the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission (EACC) faulting the agency over the probe against Ms Nyaiyaki.
However, Mr Waigwa wrote to EACC Chairperson Eliud Wabukala stating that the position taken by Mr Okero was not common ground among LSK Council Members, who were not consulted before the letter was written.
Ms Waigwa said it was important that statements emanating from the LSK leadership on matters of law and issues of critical public interest be factual and the culmination of deliberations by council members.
She said it was not true that no judge or judicial officer has been investigated before, while in office.
She said in the statement that at least two judges have been charged and subsequently acquitted while in office while former Chief Registrar of the Judiciary Gladys Shollei has been charged together with five senior judicial officers, in matters still pending in court.
Ms Waigwa added that the LSK leadership issued statements supporting investigations in some of the cited cases culminating in charging of the judicial officers.
“It would be discriminatory for the society to now single out one judicial officer for preferential treatment without any basis in fact or law,” she said.
She said that for avoidance of doubt LSK stands for the rule of law and equal application of the law in all circumstances in the letter copied to the Secretary to the Judicial Service Commission, The Director of Public Prosecutions and Inspector General of Police.
In his letter, Mr Okero had said EACC has no authority whatsoever to conduct or undertake investigations over allegations made against Ms Nyaiyaki regarding the scrutiny she undertook during hearing Presidential election petition filed by Raila Odinga. The scrutiny was among the reasons that led to the nullification of the Presidential election as the team, supervised by Ms Nyaiyaki found anomalies in a number of forms.
He said the probe will amount to an attack on the independence of the Judiciary.
He said Ms Nyaiyaki was acting on orders of the Supreme Court, and such an investigation against an officer of the Judiciary can only be conducted by the organs of the Judiciary among them, the Judicial Service Commission.