Murgor not fit to be Chief Justice, his cousins tell JSC
The row surrounding the Murgor family has deepened after some members filed a petition at the Judicial Service Commission (JSC) opposing the nomination of Senior Counsel Philip Murgor as Chief Justice.
In the petition, two family members acting on behalf of the larger family are claiming Murgor has been advancing sibling rivalry by pitting members of the family against each other in court cases.
The family argues in their petition they have no confidence in the lawyer and cannot support his bid to occupy the Judiciary’s top seat.
In the petition, the duo pointed out four court cases – including the William Cherop Murgor succession case that has been in court since 2012 – involving family members, which they argue Murgor has been using to tear the family apart.
“We understand each individual is entitled to legal counsel of their choice. However, the four cases above demonstrated an individual out to break family units without cause other than to be sadistic,” it reads.
In the succession case, Murgor is representing his cousin Enid Murgor who filed the case, protesting the sharing of her late father’s estate.
“We are concerned he has not used his knowledge and qualifications in law to provide advice to members of the Murgor family but narrowly to pit siblings against siblings as demonstrated in the following four cases, ongoing and settled in court,” the petition reads.
The petition further says JSC should abstain from taking sides in family cases and instead allow representation of the family members by other advocates.
Murgor is also accused of depriving his siblings of livelihood and share of their late mother’s estate, leaving them in abject poverty.
They have also questioned his representation of his client in the Toby Cohen’s murder case, faulting “his conduct as witnessed in the media where he is seen offering direct affection to his client and immersing himself into the case rather than conducting himself in a manner befitting his profession as an officer of the court”.
But in response, Murgor dismisses the allegations as lies, arguing that his cousins have no useful information regarding his character or previous antecedents.
“They are simply aggrieved litigants in an ongoing, bitter and acrimonious family succession dispute over their father’s property, who will go to any lengths including lying to the JSC, if it will assist them in their objective to completely disinherit certain beneficiaries and dependents,” Murgor says in a statement.
He argues that his cousins are opposed to him because he “is responsible for educating all their family members on their constitutional rights to equal inheritance”.
Further, he says, he has tried engaging the family to embrace mediation in the court cases but his cousins have resisted his efforts.
“(In the William Murgor succession case) all attempts at mediation have failed, on account of recalcitrance of three of my cousins and their supporters.
I have not obstructed any attempts at resolving the disputes through mediation and continue to urge the opposing advocates to advise their clients to respect the requirements of constitution and law of succession,” said Murgor.
He added that three other succession cases involving his family had been settled through mediation and equal sharing of property.
The family petition comes in the wake of a split in the Law Society of Kenya (LSK) on the nomination of three out of the 10 candidates for CJ post including Justice Martha Koome, Prof Kameri Mbote and Murgor.
One faction of the LSK has raised concern about the ability of the three to serve as CJ.
The Kenya Rugby Union has also objected the candidature of Prof Moni Wekesa.
The LSK faction faulted Murgor’s past performance in public positions and public utterances.
- Among the candidates for CJ are Court of appeal President William Ouko, SC Fred Ngatia, Justice Martha Koome, Kameri Mbote and Moni Wekesa.
- Others are High Court Judge Juma Chitembwe, Employment and Labour court judges Mathew Nderi and Njagi Marete and lawyer Alice Yano.
Original Source Website: : https://www.pd.co.ke/news/murgor-not-fit-to-be-chief-justice-his-cousins-tell-jsc-71718/