There is a shortage of Court of Appeal judges that has resulted to suspension of all court of appeal hearings outside Nairobi.
The court of appeal President Justice William Ouko has said the declining numbers of judges of the Appellate court is worrying
Justice Ouko said that the decline in numbers is caused by retirement of judges who have attained retirement age, promotion or assignment of judges to other offices and the recent sudden death of Justice Otieno Odek who was tasked with hearing appealed cases in the Western Kenya region.
“With the passage of time, the numbers of court of appeal judges has shrunk from the initial 27 to 15, due to retirements and the most remarkable one being the death of Justice Odek that occurred a few days ago,” read a statement by Justice Ouko.
Justice Ouko says that because of the shortage, hearings cannot continue effectively as there is a need to fill the gaps.
Justice Ouko, has therefore resorted to having courts of appeal hearings in Kisumu, Malindi and Mombasa suspended as from 13th January to give room to fill the gaps left.
Court of Appeal judges based in Kisumu, Mombasa and Malindi will have to relocate to Nairobi effective 13th January 2020 as the appellate court seeks to make replacements.
Justice Ouko explained the decision to have judges relocate to Nairobi, giving a perfect example of Nyeri Court of appeal which had to be suspended earlier this year for the same reason of shortage of judges.
While the shortage of judges comes with the need to have replacements, President Uhuru has been hesitant to appoint judges nominated by the Judiciary Service Commission (JSC) citing integrity issues.
President Uhuru filed an affidavit revealing that he could not appoint court of appeal judges, who included Msagha Mbogholi, Aggrey Muchelule, Francis Tuiyot, Hellen Omondi, Pauline Nyamweya, Weldon Korir, Jessie Wanjiku Lesiit, Mumbi Ngugi, George Odunga and Joel Ngugi because of integrity concerns.