The Atheists in Kenya Society has written to the Judicial Service Commission opposing Senior Counsel Fred Ngatia’s nomination among candidates to be interviewed for the position of Chief Justice.

The society’s President Harrison Mumia in a letter to acting Chief Justice Philomena Mwilu noted that Ngatia is likely to compromise judicial independence should he be appointed the next Chief Justice.

He argued that though Ngatia is highly experienced, his links to President Uhuru Kenyatta pose a threat to the Judiciary.

“Senior Counsel Fred Ngatia defended President Uhuru Kenyatta’s disputed win in Presidential petitions filed by Raila Odinga in 2013 and 2017. It’s obvious that his personal interests are likely to be contrary to his loyalty to the Kenya public as Chief Justice.

“We are one year away from the general elections and it’s critical that we get a Chief Justice who will guarantee judicial independence of the Supreme Court,” Mumia’s statement read in part.

Ngatia is among the candidates that have been shortlisted for the position of CJ and will appear before the commission on Tuesday, April 20, 2021.

Other candidates shortlisted for the position of Chief Justice include; Lady Justice Koome Martha Karambu, Justice Marete D.K. Njagi , Senior Counsel Murgor Philip Kipchirchir, Justice Chitembwe Said Juma, and Justice William Ouko among others.

Justice Ngatia is a senior lawyer in the country. He represented President Uhuru Kenyatta at the Supreme court in the 2013 and 2017 presidential election petitions filed by ODM leader Raila Odinga.