Azimio party leader Raila Odinga has dropped a bombshell, accusing President William Ruto of orchestrating a strategic move to appoint former Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) chairperson Wafula Chebukati as the Chief Justice of Kenya.
Raila in his recent media briefing unveiled a purported plot hatched during a crucial meeting between the Judiciary, Parliament, and the Executive at State House, Nairobi.
Raila claims that President Ruto has been offered slots in the gazetted Court of Appeal vacancies, intending to use two of them to appoint Chebukati and his predecessor at IEBC, Issack Hassan, as Court of Appeal judges.
The grand plan allegedly involves Chebukati’s subsequent elevation to Chief Justice before the 2027 General Election.
According to Raila, this clandestine agreement was reached during a meeting at State House, Nairobi, where Chief Justice Martha Koome and Mr. Ruto allegedly struck a deal that involved additional funding to the Judiciary.
Raila details the intricate agreement, asserting that in exchange for additional funding, Chief Justice Koome agreed to advertise vacancies for five high court judges and 11 Court of Appeal judges.
The advertisement for the 11 judges has reportedly already been gazetted. Notably, Raila claims that Ruto intends to forward the names of Chebukati and Ahmed Issack Hassan as Court of Appeal judges, with Chebukati later rising to the position of Chief Justice.
The alleged political maneuvering raises serious concerns about the independence of the judiciary and the potential influence of the executive in judicial appointments.
If proven true, this revelation could have far-reaching consequences for the credibility of the judicial system and democratic processes in Kenya.
As Raila Odinga brings these accusations to the forefront, the Kenyan political landscape is left grappling with the potential ramifications of this alleged plot.