REQUEST to dismiss Chief Justice (CJ) Martha Koome has been brought to court by a resident of Homa Bay for allegedly abusing her authority during the appointment of a panel to resolve tax disputes.
This case filed by Mr. Michael Kojo Oloo has increased the heat and tug-of-war in the office of the Chief Justice who has been surrounded by the sparks of politicians due to decisions that conflict with the guidance of the Kenya Kwanza government regarding various projects.
In recent days, Judge Koome and President William Ruto have clashed in public due to the repeal of the house tax law. In this case filed by Mr Otieno, the Chief Justice has been blamed for appointing 22 members of the tax dispute resolution board.
“Judge Koome has added two members to the board that should have 20 members and increased the tax burden on the people,” said Mr Otieno in his application.
The request to dismiss Koome was received at the offices of the JSC Judicial Service Commission and stamped on January 31, 2024. Members who were appointed by Judge Koome to join the tax dispute resolution board (TAT) and published in the Official Gazette are Elisha Njeru, Kadzo Ngala Delilah, Cheluget Edwin Kiprono, Tanvir Ali Mohsin, Mutuma Robert Mugambi and Karingo Jephthah Njagi.
Other TAT members are Mukuha Grace Gathoni, Oluoch Rodney Odhiambo, Kibet Abraham Kiprotich, Mayaka Cynthia Boundi, Ogaga Gloria Awuor, Ongeri Walter Juma, Olochike Sankale Spencer, Diriye Abdullahi Mohamed, Vikiru Timothy Bunyali. Also Kamolo Erick Onyango, Kashindi George Ashiono, Ng’ang’a Eunice Njeri, Muga Christine Anyango, Terer Boniface Kibiy, Makau Martin Mutiso James and Bernadette Muthira Gitari were appointed as TAT members.
In the case of impeachment of Judge Koome, Mr Otieno says that TAT members should not be less than 15 people and should not be more than 20.
“Judge Koome appointed 22 members illegally and misused his authority,” says Mr Otieno.
He says the JSC has the authority and power to remove Judge Koome from power because she disobeyed the law and misconduct. This complainant says that Law No. 5(1) that regulates public servants states that the actions of a Judge either in the public domain or in private should do things that show that she has done justice and served the public properly.
The complainant says the Judge’s actions should not bring shame to the public in any way. Mr Otieno is asking the JSC to accept his request and recommend to President Ruto to appoint a panel to investigate Judge Koome with the aim of dismissing her.