Two Court of Appeal judges have disqualified themselves from hearing a case by the National Super Alliance (NASA) that is appealing a ruling on election back up system.
Appellate court judges; Gatembu Kairu and Agnes Murgor, on Wednesday, July 2, said they would not sit on the bench that is to hear the case, citing personal reasons and a relationship with a lawyer.
This has caused the hearing of the case to abort for the second time, with a total of three judges, so far declining to heart the matter.
A three-judge bench composed of Justices Daniel Musinga, Kairu and Murgor appeared in court at 9am but adjourned for two hours in order to have a new bench hear the pending case.
When they returned at 11am, they told the lawyers present that the case had to be adjourned to Friday, August 3 (today) as the President of that court was not available to set up another bench.
A section of the media is reporting that Justice Kairu withdrew from the case because he has links with Jubilee Party lawyer Paul Muite.
On the other hand, Justice Murgor is thought to have disqualifying herself saying she was concerned about possible perception by the public on the outcome.
“I have deeply searched through my heart and I will recuse myself from the matter because of perceptions it will create,” Justice Murgor said as quoted in The Standard.
This past Tuesday, Justice Erastus Githinji disqualified himself saying he was uncomfortable with presiding over the case as he had sat in another bench which heard the presidential ballot printing papers tender case.
Justice Githinji was to chair a three-judge bench that also had board Justices Wanjiru Karanja and Roslyn Nambuye in it but opted out, noting that it was the same parties before him with related issues.
He noted that due to the heightened political temperatures, a negative perception was inevitable if he headed another bench on election-related matters.
“I wish to recuse myself on the grounds it will not be proper to head another bench, having presided over one in an appeal relating to the same parties and involving the electoral process,” the judge said.
Meanwhile, Jubilee has asked the same court to allow it use evidence showing that the Opposition was party to the debate that resulted in having the contentious law on the back up system.