, NAIROBI, Kenya, Feb 5 – Supreme Court Judge Philip Tunoi says he is ready to face a tribunal to prove his innocence over claims he took a Sh200 million bribe from Nairobi Governor Evans Kidero in exchange for a favourable verdict.
Tunoi through lawyer Fred Ngatia maintains his innocence in the face of a Judicial Service Commission finding that a prima facie case of gross misconduct has been established against him.
“Justice Tunoi has learnt of the recommendation made by the Judicial Service Commission and reiterates his innocence against the false accusations that have been made against him. The judge will appear before the tribunal once it is established,” the brief press statement from his lawyer reads.
Tunoi, who rebutted the corruption charge before a special committee of the JSC on Monday, has denied receiving a bribe from Kidero but the governor has denied giving it.
READ: Show me the money, Tunoi tells JSC over alleged bribery
And while leaving it to a tribunal to determine if a bribe exchanged hands, the JSC has established that there was, “inappropriate interaction and communication between,” Tunoi and agents of Kidero while his case was pending in the Supreme Court.
Kidero had petitioned the Supreme Court after the Court of Appeal nullified his election on the strength of a petition filed by now Kabete MP Ferdinand Waititu.
On receiving the JSC’s recommendation, President Uhuru Kenyatta will have 14 days to appoint a tribunal consisting of a Chairman and three members who serve or have served as judges in superior courts or are qualified to do so, an advocate of 15 years standing and two other persons with experience in public affairs.
The charges against Tunoi have been made by one Geoffrey Kiplagat who sought elective office in Elgeyo Marakwet during the 2013 general election.
He claims to have been present when Tunoi allegedly received the bribe from Kidero through a car window in a brown briefcase containing US dollars.
Tunoi however contends that nowhere in his affidavit does Kiplagat swear to seeing what was inside the briefcase.