The Kenya Judges and Magistrates Association (KMJA) has moved to court to block the prosecution of Justices Aggrey Muchelule and Said Chitembwe over alleged graft dealings.
The two high court judges were arrested on Thursday by detectives from the Directorate of Criminal Investigations and grilled for hours at the DCI headquarters on Kiambu Road.
Through lawyer Danstan Omari, KMJA wants the police barred from rearresting the duo and charging them in court pending hearing and determination of the petition.
Citing intimidation of the judicial officers, Omari urged the courts to intervene and stop their prosecution which he argues threatens the independence of the third arm of government.
In court documents, KMJA Secretary General Senior Principal Magistrate Derrick Kuto said that the judges were ambushed in their chambers yesterday by unknown individuals.
According to Kuto, the individuals who had no search warrants stormed the judges’ offices on allegations that they had information the duo had received corruption money which was in their chambers.
“Upon conclusion of the search, the inventory was fully signed on what was recovered which inventory disclosed the alleged bribery money was never found in the chambers,” reads court documents.
He added that the judges were whisked to DCI headquarters where they were grilled for two hours before being released.
The judges were reportedly freed at around 5pm Thursday.
“This comes in the wake of pressure that has piled on the president to swear in Justice Muchelule as a court of appeal judge” said Kuto in a sworn affidavit.
Justice Muchelule was among six judges rejected by President Uhuru Kenyatta in recent appointments in the Judiciary.
The President declined to promote the judge to the Court of Appeal as recommended by the Judicial Service Commission (JSC) over ‘integrity issues’.
Others left out alongside Muchelule include Justices Weldon Korir, George Odunga, Prof Joel Ngugi, Mombasa chief Magistrate Charles Kinango and High Court Registrar Judy Omange.