Chief Justice Who Was Removed After 2 Months

Former minister and freedom fighter Bildad Kaggia.
  • Kenya has had more than 10 Chief Justices from independence, starting with John Ainley who convicted Kisilu Mutua for the assassination of Pio Gama Pinto, a Kenyan journalist, politician and freedom fighter.

    His successor Justice Arthur Dennis Farrel who took over in 1968, was the shortest-serving Chief Justice in the history of the office. 

    According to Judiciary records, Justice Farrel only served for two months and was removed after a controversial ruling in a case involving former minister and freedom fighter Bildad Kaggia.

    Former minister and freedom fighter Bildad Kaggia.

    He had been convicted of holding a political meeting without a license and sentenced to one-year imprisonment. 

    When Kaggia appealed the sentence, his case came up before Justice Farrell and Justice Dalton. They both upheld the conviction but reduced the sentence to six months. 

    However, Farrell was immediately retired after having served for only two months and was replaced by the first Kenyan native Chief Justice Kitili Mwendwa. 

    Other noteworthy Chief Justices include Justice Fred Kwasi Apaloo and Justice Cecil Henry Ethelwood Miller.

    Miller who became the second black CJ was a fighter jet pilot with the British Royal Airforce as well as a commonwealth welfare officer prior to his appointment. His son, Cecil Miller Junior, is one of the prominent lawyers in Nairobi.

    At the time of his death, he had been awarded two presidential honours; Elder of the Burning Spear and Elder of the Golder Heart. 

    President Jomo Kenyatta awarding Justice Cecil Henry Ethelwood Miller a presidential award.
    President Jomo Kenyatta awarding Justice Cecil Henry Ethelwood Miller a presidential award.

    Justice Fred Kwasi made history by serving as a Chief Justice in both Kenya and Ghana. 

    He first served as Ghana’s CJ having been appointed in 1977 where he made his mark as unshakably independent and never hesitated from judgments that went against the country’s government.

    The Ghanian joined the Kenyan Judiciary in the late 1980s as a High Court judge and rose to become a Court of Appeal Judge in 1989.

    In 1993, Kenya found itself with a vacancy for Chief Justice and no obvious candidate to fill it, Apaloo was appointed to the post, which he did with success.


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