A detailed look into the judges delivering BBI verdict

8 mins read

Meet the seven Court of Appeal judges currently delivering the BBI ruling.

Justice Daniel Masinga

He is the President of the Court of Appeal and was admitted to the bar in 1988. In 2003 he was a part of the tribunal which was investigating the conduct of suspended judges and was also appointed judge of the High Court the same year and was moved to Nakuru up to 2007.

In November 2010, he was appointed a judge at the Constitutional and Judicial Review Division in the High Court in Nairobi. Among his notable decisions was a permanent injunction against the defunct Interim Independent Boundaries Review Commission from publishing a list of new electoral constituencies. Justice Masinga also quashed the controversial appointment of Justice Alnashir Visram and lawyer Githu Muigai as Chief Justice and Attorney General, respectively by President Mwai Kibaki during the coalition government. He also stopped President Kibaki from creating new districts in 2009, and in 2011, he was declared the Jurist of the Year by the Kenyan Section of The International Commission of Jurists (ICJ Kenya).

Justice Roselyne Nambuye

She is one of the oldest members of today’s bench. Born in 1954, she has about nine months to retire after 41 years in the corridors of justice. The BBI appeal hearing is one of her major roles. Admitted to the bar in 1977, Justice Nambuye joined the judiciary as a District Magistrate in 1980. Previously she was a District Officer from 1976 to the time of her appointment. She is a holder of two master’s degrees from the University of Nairobi – Masters in International Conflict Management and an LLM in Public International Law.

Justice Nambuye was appointed a judge of the High Court in 1991, becoming the third female judge in the High Court of Kenya, and rose to the Court of Appeal in 2011 where she has served to date.

Justice Patrick Kiage

Born in 1969 in Kisii County and admitted to the bar in 1993, Justice Patrick Kiage has been a judge of the Court of Appeal from November 2012 having come from private practice.

Before joining the bench, he was the managing partner at the Kiage & Co. Advocates between 1997 and 2012.

He is an alumnus of Alliance High School and holds a Master of Laws degree in Public Service Law from New York University, majoring in Human Rights and Criminal Justice. He was appointed in 2007 as a special prosecutor in the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions.

Justice Kiage has also taught Criminal Procedure and Practice, and Family Law at the Catholic University of Eastern Africa (CUEA) as well as Trial Advocacy at the Kenya School of Law.

Justice Hannah Okwengu

Admitted to the bar in 1980, Justice Owengu has spent most of her professional life in public service where she started out as a land registrar in Mombasa, then later an advocate at the Municipal Council of Mombasa. She would then join the judiciary as an acting Resident Magistrate in October 1983 and moved up the ranks to become a Chief Magistrate in 1999.

She was appointed an Assistant Director of the defunct Kenya Anti-Corruption Authority (KACA) for a five-year term but left after serving for two years just two years into her tenure when the High Court declared KACA unconstitutional.

She was appointed judge of the High Court in May 2003 and later judge of the Court of Appeal in 2011 where she has been to date. In 1998, she was given the Law Society of Kenya Award for distinguished service in the Administration of Justice.

Justice Gatembu Kairu

He has been a judge at the Court of Appeal since November 2012. Born in July 1960, Justice Gatembu Kairu was a Law lecturer at the University of Nairobi’s Commercial Law Department before joining the judiciary. He worked at Hamilton Harrison & Mathews Advocates and Kimani Kairu & Company Advocates as an associate after being admitted to the bar in 1985. Later, he became a partner at Kairu & McCourt Advocates.

At the High Court, he undertook civil litigation as well as in the sub-ordinates courts and the Court of Appeal as well as arbitration proceedings in banking, commercial insurance law, and arbitration.

Justice Kiaru holds a Masters of Laws in banking law from Boston University USA; a Bachelor of Laws from the University of Nairobi and a Diploma from the Kenya School of Law.

He was a lecturer at the University of Nairobi where he taught Alternative Dispute Resolution, civil procedure and practice, banking law, the law of torts, and the law of international institutions among others.

Justice Fatuma Sichale

Born in 1958 and admitted to the bar in 1983, Justice Sichale started out as a magistrate and rose to a resident magistrate in 1987. This follows years of private practice and also in the defunct Kenya Anti-Corruption Commission (KACC) and Kenya Anti-Corruption Authority (KACA) where she worked as a board member and resigned in October 2009.

She was appointed judge of the Court of Appeal in November 2012. In 2017, Justice Sichale was on the bench alongside Martha Koome who is now the Chief Jsat late in the evening on a public holiday and without the clearance of the Chief Justice to overturn the High Court ruling that found the appointment of IEBC returning officers and their deputies illegal. 

Justice Francis Tuiyott

He is the newest member of the Court of Appeal bench after being a part of the 34 judges promoted by President Uhuru Kenyatta this year in June. Justice Tuiyott was admitted to the bar in 1991 and joined AGN Kamau Advocates as an associate between 1991 and 1993. He has worked with Maraga &Co Advocates and also Nyaundi Tuiyott & Co Advocates, between 1993 and 2011.

A holder of  Masters of Laws degree from the University of London, a Bachelors of Laws degree from the University of Nairobi and a Diploma in Law from the Kenya School of Law, Justice Tuiyott served as chairman of the Sugar Arbitration Tribunal from 2010 to 2011 before his appointment as judge of the High Court in August 2011.

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