NASA presidential candidate Raila Odinga’s taste of presidential is now pegged on seven Supreme Court judges.
Four of the judges sat on the same bench that ruled against his presidential petition in 2013. Three of them were appointed last year upon the retirement of former CJ Willy Mutunga, Deputy CJ Kalpana Rawal and Justice Philip Tunoi.
Here is a brief look at the credentials of the seven judges who all eyes are on currently.
1. Chief Justice David Maraga
The 66-year-old jurist is a strict, Seventh – day Adventist who has said he will not work on Saturday, even for a presidential petition
He was also Chairperson of the Tribunal appointed last year by President Uhuru Kenyatta that investigated and ruled on the conduct of a Judge of the High Court of Kenya, Justice Joseph Mutava.
CJ Maraga holds a Master of Laws (LLM) Degree from the University of Nairobi; a Bachelor of Laws (LLB) Degree from the same University and a Diploma in Legal Practice from the Kenya School of Law. He was admitted onto the Roll of Advocates in October 1978.
2. Deputy Chief Justice Philomena Mwilu
Lady Justice Philomena Mbete Mwilu was appointed Deputy Chief Justice on October 28, 2016.
Justice Mwilu who graduated from the University of Nairobi and was admitted as an advocate of the High Court of Kenya in 1984, deputises the Chief Justice and is the vice-president of the Supreme Court.
With over 32 years’ experience in the legal profession, Justice Mwilu practised law in the firms of Muthoga Gaturu & Company and later Mutunga & Company Advocates.
3. Hon Justice Mohamed Khadar Ibrahim
Justice Mohamed Ibrahim acted as CJ following Justice Mutunga’s retirement last year until Justice Maraga was picked for the job.
He attended the University of Nairobi where he graduated with a Bachelor of Law Degree.
Justice Ibrahim, who was admitted to the Roll of Advocates on the January 11, 1983, was appointed a judge of the inaugural Supreme Court of Kenya on June 16, 2011 after an open and competitive interview.
4. Justice Prof Jackton Boma Ojwang
Justice Prof Jackton Boma Ojwang, a scholar and long-time lecturer at the University of Nairobi joined the Supreme Court at its inauguration in 2011. He was of the six judges who dismissed the presidential election petition of March 30, 2013.
5. Justice Dr Smokin Wanjala
In June 2012, Justice Dr. Smokin Charles Wanjala was among five Justices nominated to the Supreme Court of Kenya by the Judicial Service Commission (Kenya).
He was once chairman of JSC Human Resource Management committee that oversees the establishment of appropriate human resources policies and strategies while on the JSC.
6. Lady Justice Njoki Susanna Ndung’u
Lady Justice Njoki Susanna Ndungu was appointed to the inaugural Supreme Court on June 11, 2011.
She began her career between 1989-1993 at the Office of the Attorney General as a State Counsel.
She later worked as a Programme Officer (Civic Education) with the Institute for Education in Democracy until 1995.
In 1995 she moved and worked for one year at UNHCR Kenya Branch Office as a National Protection Officer.
Between 2000 – 2002 she worked as a Political Analyst for the Organization of African Unity, (OAU) which is now Africa Union.
Justice Ndungu was nominated to the 9th Parliament by the National Alliance Rainbow Coalition – NARC to serve as a nominated Member of Parliament between 2003-2007.
She’s best remembered for her contribution in parliament especially when she moved several private members bills including the Sexual Offenses Bill, 2006, which is popularly referred to as the Njoki law.
She sat on the court during the Supreme Court 2013 presidential petition.
7. Justice Isaac Lenaola
The 49-year-old Justice Isaac Leneola beat a pool of senior judges from the Court of Appeal who had applied for the position to replace retired judge Philip Tunoi.
He successfully joined the Supreme Court in late 2016 after a lengthy interview to fill the vacant positions left by Justice Philip Tunoi and Justice Kalpana Rawal who had attained the mandatory judicial retirement age of 70 years.