Chief Justice David Maraga has raised the alarm over an unprecedented attack on the Judiciary on social media as part of an ongoing campaign he interprets as designed to undermine its judicial independence.
On Sunday night, June 14, CJ Maraga shared a video on his personal and Judiciary’s social media accounts, contents of which clearly besmirches the character of several judges, including himself.
The videos produced by an entity regarding itself as Kenya Now imputes corruption on several of the judges whose names were forwarded by the Judicial Service Commission to the President for appointment.
Further, the video sensationally claimed that the esteemed and pious CJ may have had a long-running romantic relationship with one of the JSC nominees for the Court of Appeal.
Besides, the video also alleged that two judges received bribes from Ibrahim and Baktash Akasha, two brothers convicted of drug trafficking in the United States following their extradition from Kenya.
The Judiciary and Executive have been locked in a long and bitter dispute over some of the 41 nominees set for appointment as judges.
Last week, the simmering issue came to the fore once again after CJ Maraga demanded in a public address that President Uhuru Kenyatta immediately ends the stalemate by executing his role of sanctioning the appointment.
Maraga also accused the Attorney-General (AG) Paul Kihara Kariuki of adopting a lackadaisical attitude towards the matter despite two court orders compelling his boss to make the appointments.
But AG Kariuki fired back, accusing the Chief Justice of playing to the gallery by attacking the Executive.
The AG repeated the Executive’s claims that some of those who were nominated for appointment as Court of Appeal judges have integrity issues.
After his press briefing last week, Nairobians woke up to banners criticizing the CJ, some describing him as the head of a corrupt enterprise.
The JSC also received a petition seeking the removal of Maraga over alleged gross misconduct and breach of code of conduct.
Several lawyers of prominent standing condemned the video and attempt to intimidate judges following the publication of the video by CJ Maraga.
“Good morning Friends. The Judiciary is like a hospital. Everyone will need it one day whether powerful or powerless. The targeted vilification of CJ David Maraga and Judges should be resisted, fought and remedied. The Executive must uphold the Constitution and obey Court orders,” said Law Society of Kenya President Nelson Havi.
On Monday, Former LSK President Ahmednasir Abdullahi said that he convened an emergency meeting of the Senior Counsel Committee to address the pressing and alarming challenges and threats facing lawyers, the rule of law and Judiciary.