Chief Justice Martha Koome finds herself embroiled in controversy following a petition filed with the Judicial Service Commission (JSC) seeking her removal from office.
The petition, lodged by Michael Kojo Otieno, alleges irregularities and misconduct in the Chief Justice's appointment of members to the Tax Appeal Tribunal.
Otieno contends that the Chief Justice failed to adhere to the law during the appointment process.
"While appointing persons to serve at the tax appeal tribunal, the judge failed to be honest in the execution of powers conferred to her by the Tax Appeal Tribunal Act based on powers conferred to the judge as a judicial officer," the petition states.
He further accuses the Chief Justice of lacking transparency and diligence, claiming she discriminated against applicants vying for positions on the tribunal.
"The actions of the chief justice in appointing members more than the stipulated requirement violated section 4b of the Tax Appeal Tribunal Act," Otieno argued.
The petition goes on to assert that these alleged transgressions render the Chief Justice unfit for office and demands her removal.
"The actions of the chief justice in the appointment of the tax appeal tribunal are indeed illegal, null and void and hence unfit to hold public office," the petition reads.
The petition throws a spotlight on the appointment process for the Tax Appeal Tribunal, raising questions about transparency and adherence to legal procedures.
The JSC will now be tasked with investigating the allegations and determining whether they warrant further action. The Chief Justice has yet to respond to the petition publicly.
This development comes at a sensitive time for the Kenyan judiciary, with ongoing efforts to strengthen public trust and uphold the rule of law.
The JSC's response to this petition will be closely watched, as it could have significant implications for the Chief Justice's position and the wider Kenyan judicial system.