Senior Counsel Fred Ngatia claims that there was rigging in the just-concluded Chief Justice recruitment process.
Speaking during an interview with Business Daily, Ngatia alleged that he outscored the other nine candidates interviewed for the position but some members of the Judicial Service Commission (JSC) rigged him out.
“Four commissioners from Mt. Kenya reduced my scores yesterday afternoon after they were called by powerful people,” Ngatia said.
He added: “Without that intervention, I was far ahead of all the other candidates.”
Ngatia, who led President Kenyatta’s legal team during the 2013 and 2017 presidential election petitions, was tipped as one of the frontrunners for the powerful post.
On Tuesday, JSC nominated Lady Justice Martha Koome and forwarded her name to President Kenyatta for appointment as Chief Justice of the Republic of Kenya.
JSC Interim Vice-Chair Prof. Olive Mugenda said the panel selected the best candidate, adding that the scores for each candidate will not be made public.
"Our duty was to select the best candidate and that's what we have done," said Mugenda, who chaired the interviews.
Apart from Koome and Ngatia, other Chief Justice hopefuls included Justice Said Chitembwe, Patricia Mbote, Justice Njagi Marete, Philip Murgor, Justice Nduma Nderi, Justice William Ouko, Prof. Moni Wekesa, and Alice Yano.
If appointed, Koome will make history as the country’s first-ever female Chief Justice.
Koome, who currently heads the Criminal Division at the Court of Appeal, boasts 33 years in the legal profession.