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Ruto wants to replace CJ Koome with Chebukati ahead of 2027; Raila

Raila Odinga claims Ruto wants former IEBC chairman to replace Martha Koome as Chief Justice before the 2027 general elections.

Azimio la Umoja leader Raila Odinga now claims that President William Ruto wants former IEBC chairman to replace Martha Koome as Chief Justice before the 2027 general elections.

Raila asserted, Friday, February 2, in a statement to the media that Kenyans were not informed of the full details of Ruto’s meeting with CJ Koome at the State House last month.

According to the former prime minister, Ruto and Koome came to an agreement on a strategy that would enable him to nominate judges who share his views to the judiciary.

Raila claims that CJ Koome posted openings for five more High Court judges and eleven Court of Appeal judges in exchange for the President agreeing to boost financing for the judiciary.

He alleged that President Ruto would float the names of Chebukati and Isaac Hassan to be appointed as Court of Appeal Judges.

“In that agreement, the five High Court Judges and two Court of Appeal Judges will be for Mr. Ruto to forward to the JSC. And he floated the names. Immediate former IEBC Chairman Mr. Wafula Chebukati and former IEBC Chairman Ahmed Isaac Hassan are to be appointed as Court of Appeal judges with Chebukati be later elevated as the Chief Justice before 2027 General elections,” Raila claimed.

The opposition chief went on to say that Ruto is intentionally targeting the High Court and the Court of Appeal to staff them with his loyalists.

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“Ruto is looking to set up a user-friendly Judiciary, full of people with questionable pasts and limited capacity. And, unfortunately, the Chief Justice is gladly smiling along and playing ball,” Raila added.

The ODM chief’s claims come after CJ Koome declared eleven vacancies in the Office of the Judge of the Court of Appeal.

In a gazette notice on Friday, Koome said the appointments will be made in accordance with Article 166(1)(b), (2) and (4) of the Constitution and Section 30, Part V and the First Schedule of the Judicial Service Act, 2011.

President Ruto and CJ Koome held a meeting on January 22 following a feud over corruption in the Judiciary.

During the meeting, the three arms of government committed to enhancing service delivery, fighting corruption, and promoting the overall administration of justice to enhance accountability.

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