Judiciary takes actions after Makadara Law Courts shooting incident

Ezra Manyibe | 1 month ago
File image of Chief Justice Martha Koome. |Photo| Courtesy|

The Judicial Service Commission has sprung to action following an incident where a senior police officer shot and injured a principal magistrate during a session at the Makadara Law Courts in Nairobi on Thursday, June 13, 2024.

In a statement, Chief Justice Martha Koome condemned the attack on Principal Magistrate Monicah Kivuti, calling upon national security agencies to take action on the matter with utmost urgency and sensitivity. 

She noted that the tragic incident occurred in a public court of law, exposing Judicial Officers, court users and members of the public to serious threat of attack and injury.

"It is regrettable that the perpetrator was a senior court user who had open and unfettered access to the courtroom through the special Magistrates' entrance," CJ Koome stated.

As a precaution, the chief justice stated that the Judiciary Police Unit in consultation with the Office of the Inspector General will reinforce security in all Court Stations across the country and ensure that persons are not allowed to access court premises while armed except for officers properly accredited to provide security at specified court stations. 

CJ Koome announced that court premises at Makadara Law Courts will remain closed until Monday, June 17, 2024, for security reinforcement.

"All matters at the Makadara Law Courts will be heard virtually and those requiring physical appearance mentioned at the Milimani Law Courts," the statement read in part.
 
The Judiciary together with the Office of Inspector General and connected NCAJ actors will review the security protocols regarding handling of accused persons in the courtroom as a precautionary measure.

CJ Koome added that the Judiciary Security Committee will engage stakeholders to adopt and implement security measures for each Court station. 

The Judiciary Security Committee will also work with the Judiciary Infrastructure and Building Committee and the Office of the Chief Registrar of the Judiciary to ensure that all Judiciary infrastructure meets international standards for the security of Judges, Judicial Officers and staff. 

"Given that the Court at Makadara was operating from a makeshift structure, an indication of lack of space and ample facilities at Makadara and in courts across the country, we continue to call upon the National Assembly and the National Treasury to prioritize adequate funding to facilitate the development of appropriate court infrastructure across the country," CJ Koome requested.

The chief justice further announced that targeted security training will be provided to officers deployed to the Judiciary and serving members of the public in registries and other court functions. 

Koome revealed that the Executive Director of the National Council on the Administration of Justice (NCAJ) will convene an urgent meeting of the NCAJ Council to discuss factors leading to this tragic incident and to adopt measures to avert any future threats. 

"The Judiciary leadership thanks the gallant officers who responded to this attack and who were injured in the process and assures the public that security across the Judiciary will remain a priority and will be reinforced to protect the sanctity of courtrooms and the rights of Kenyans to access justice," the statement reads.

"We also wish the injured officers quick and full recovery and convey our sincere condolences to the family and friends of the deceased perpetrator". 

The police officer is said to have shot the principal magistrate after she denied his wife bond. He was gunned down by other officers in the courtroom.

The magistrate and two other security officers who suffered injuries during the incident are currently undergoing treatment. Monica suffered shots to the chest and pelvic area.

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