, NAIROBI, Kenya, Apr 27 – It’s been said that the devil is in the details and this held true on Wednesday when a scene straight out of Geoffrey Kiplagat’s damning affidavit was re-enacted at the Petro fuel station along Waiyaki Way.
It was the coupe de grace of his account; the moment he claims over Sh200 million in bribe money changed hands: from those of Nairobi Governor Evans Kidero to those of Supreme Court Judge Justice Philip Tunoi.
But first the details had to be just right.
The Secretariat of the tribunal charged with ascertaining the veracity of the claim had to make sure they got just right the makes of cars Kiplagat claims they were riding and ensure the dimensions and weight of their replica bag matched that of the brown briefcase Kiplagat claims contained the Sh200 million in US Dollars.
A Mercedes of the same make and model he claims he rode in with Tunoi was parked alongside the Prado he claims Kidero was passenger in.
The enactment then began in earnest.
A man in the tribunal’s security detail was charged with moving the bag, weighted with 20kgs worth of newspapers, “given Central Bank says a million should weigh 10kgs,” Lead Assisting Counsel Paul Nyamodi told Capital FM News, between the two vehicles.
Under the weight and Kiplagat’s instruction, he first moved the bag from the front passenger side door of the Prado to the open driver’s side door of the Mercedes.
But for the re-enactment to be credible, the man in the driver’s seat of the Mercedes , Tunoi insisted, also had to be of a girth as wide as that of advocate Katwa Kigen who Kiplagat claims was principal player.
Even then, the bag was then successfully passed back between the two front passenger seats to where Kiplagat claims Kiplagat sat on that August day two years ago, “back left.”
Except Tunoi, who was now standing between the two vehicles in sunglasses, still wasn’t satisfied. Through his lawyer Fred Ngatia he accused Kiplagat of giving conflicting accounts.
“In your NTV interview you said the briefcase was passed through the windows.”
And so they tried it but while the bag successfully fit through the back right window of the Prado, it dropped down the space between the two cars.
After which Kiplagat insisted, “this is not how it happened. If that’s how I described it on NTV, it must have been a slip… Besides, I was not taking exact measurements. Move the cars closer and it won’t be impossible as you say.”
Tribunal member and High Court judge Roselyne Korir stepped in at this point and a third attempt was made.
This time out the front passenger side window of the Prado and in the driver’s side window of the Mercedes. Success.
It might not have matched the drama of the historic tribunal hearing when former President Daniel arap Moi’s lawyer, the late Mutula Kilonzo, proved that the bribe money he’d been accused of receiving from Kamlesh Pattni couldn’t have possibly fit in the briefcase it was alleged to have been carried in, but it was dramatic enough to draw a crowd and to quote on of those gathered to watch, “like something out of a movie.”