Former Chief Justice Augustino Ramadhani

Kenyan President Mwai Kibaki has appointed former Tanzanian Chief Justice Augustino Ramadhan to chair a seven-member tribunal to investigate the conduct of Kenya’s Deputy Chief Justice, Nancy Baraza, regarding a gun incident in Gigiri, Nairobi last month.

President Kibaki has already suspended Ms Baraza pending the investigation involving a security guard, Rebecca Kerubo who alleged that Ms Baraza threatened to shoot her. Kerubo also accused her of pinching her nose when she pursued her to demand that she undergo a routine security check at Village Market Mall.

Reacting to the appointment, Justice Ramadhan, who has extensive experience of more than 40 years in the judiciary, said he was ready to do the job diligently.  “I was asked by the Chief Justice, Mohamed Chande Othman, last week if I was ready to do it and I said okay,” said Justice Ramadhan, adding that it was his first time to chair such a tribunal because they are rare.

“Since independence we have had between three and four such tribunals,” he noted. Other members of the tribunal include Prof Judith Mbula Behemuka, Justice (rtd) Philip Ransley, Surinder Kapila, Beauttah Alukhava Siganga, Grace Barbara Ngele Madoka and Prof Mugambi Jesse Ndwiga Kanyua.

President Kibaki also appointed Ms Valeria Onyango as lead counsel and Gideon Solonka Kilakoi as the assisting counsel to assist the tribunal. Kenyan Chief Justice Willy Mutunga petitioned the president to suspend Baraza on recommendation of a sub-committee of the Judicial Service Commission (JSC) that investigated claims that she pinched the guard on the nose and threatened to shoot her.

Dr Mutunga said the team did not look at the criminal culpability of his deputy but the code of conduct for judicial officers. According to Justice Ramadhan, these tribunals are practised in all Commonwealth member states, including Tanzania where the president can appoint justices but cannot remove them from office without forming the tribunals. “Proceedings in these tribunals follow normal judicial procedures where by defendants can bring their defence lawyers and witnesses,” he added.

Justice Ramadhan, a graduate of law at the University of Dar es Salaam, became CJ in 2007 after serving as Judge of the High Court for many years. He also served as Zanzibar CJ in the late 1970s.  Judge Ramadhan has also served in the Tanzanian army and fought in the war against Uganda to oust Idd Amin in 1979.

In 1993 he was appointed the Vice-Chairman of Tanzania Electoral Commission (NEC) after serving similar position in the Zanzibar Electoral Commission (ZEC).  In 2001 he was appointed Judge of the East African Court of Justice until 2006.  He was born on December 28, 1945 in Zanzibar but spent most of his childhood, education and career in Tanzania Mainland.

Source Tanzania Daily News

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