A private citizen has moved to court to petition the removal of Deputy Chief Justice Philomena Mwilu and Justice Isaac Lenaola from Judicial Service Commission over gross misconduct.
The petitioner, Derrick Ngumu who is an executive Director of Angaza Empowerment, has accused the judges of breaching the JSC core of conduct during proceedings for NASA’s petition to nullify the August 8 presidential election.
“Lenaola and Mwilu met NASA leaders Moses Wetang’ula and James Orengo at Skyview apartments, Kileleshwa on August 17 and 18 and the subject of discussion was the presidential petition,” Ngumu says in the petition filed on Monday.
“The two did not bring the discussion before the attention of the court or to the parties during the petition,” he added.
Orengo was part of NASA’s legal team, while Lenaola and Mwilu were among four judges who ruled in favour of the NASA petition on September 1.
This led to the nullification of President Uhuru Kenyatta’s election as the Court directed IEBC to conduct fresh polls in 60 days.
Ngumu’s petition also says Lenaola interacted with ODM communication director Philip Etale outside the Supreme Court on phone calls, text messages and physical meetings.
He says the Supreme Court judge was also in constant communication with NASA head of presidential secretariat Willis Otieno as the petition was ongoing.
“Lenaola has prior communciation with Otieno through phone calls, SMS and physical meetings outside the court precincts,” the petitioner says.
“This improper interaction with an interested party brings into question his impartiality, integrity, equality and nondiscrimination.”
Ngumu says the Deputy Chief Justice had lengthy phone calls with Orengo through a number registered under his sister Margaret.
“It is within proof that it was actually Orengo, in malevolent disguise, communicating with the DCJ,” the petitioner says.
He said the two also met at Menelik Hospital in Kilimani, Nairobi between August 6 and 8, then met at the Skyview apartments on 29.
Ngumu also says the DCJ met Busia Senator Amos Wako of ODM for two hours, and communicated with Wetang’ula through an Emmanuel Wetang’ula.
“The DCJ met with Wetang’ula at Menelik Hospital, a meeting facilitated by Emmanuel several times during the petition period.”
He says Mwilu also was also in communication Thirdway Alliance party leader Ekuru Aukot.
Aukot was second runner up in the August 8 polls and was also an interested party in the petition.
“On August 17, Aukot had a phone call with the judge and a series of text messages at 5.24pm and 5.47pm. They also communicated on August 18 between 2.47pm and 2.51pm.
Ngumu’s petition comes barely a week after another case filed before the JCS seeking to remove Chief Justice David Maraga.
Nyeri Town MP Wambugu Ngunjiri withdrew his petition against the CJ after a meeting with President Uhuru Kenyatta on Friday.