, NAIROBI, Kenya, Apr 27 – Businessman Mike Njeru on Wednesday testified that he felt greatly betrayed by Geoffrey Kiplagat Lelmet’s claims that he was involved in a plot to bribe Supreme Court Judge Philip Tunoi.
He said he felt betrayed because he had known Lelmet for a number of years, since the referendum campaigns to change the Constitution, and had been very generous to him.
Njeru told the tribunal investigating the bribery allegations that he met Lelmet when he was a reporter for Kass FM and felt indebted to him for the assistance he accorded them in mobilising “ground support” in the referendum campaigns.
That’s why, he testified, he gave Lelmet about Sh1 million in financial support when he contested the Keiyo South National Assembly seat in the 2013 General Election.
“He came and approached me, told me he’s going to leave employment and he wants to venture into politics and he wanted support. Of course I asked him if he has any chance and he told me he has done his homework and he’ll be the next MP for Keiyo South.”
Njeru testified that he hired Lelmet a campaign vehicle and drivers at a cost above Sh160,000 and continued to support him even after he lost out to another candidate.
“Depending on my ability sometimes I’d give him as little as Sh2,000 other times as much as Sh20,000 when he asked me for money for food for his children. He would camp in my office even when I wasn’t there, the whole day, until my assistants would sort him out.”
He said he was in possession of the cheque stubs to prove he paid two months worth of rent for Lelmet in addition to securing him a job at Ghetto Radio. “But after a few months I think he couldn’t gel working at Ghetto considering he was coming from a vernacular radio station. I think he couldn’t cope so he left work and continued to come to my office for handouts.”
That’s why, he testified, Lelmet’s claim that he was involved in a plot to bribe Tunoi came as a blow. After failing to secure Lelmet a job in Nairobi Governor Evans Kidero’s office following his failed stint at Ghetto, Njeru testified that he received a “veiled threat” in the form of an email.
“Actually the subject was, ‘soma nusu, I’ll send you the next half kesho,'” Njeru said in reference to the copy of an affidavit Kiplagat emailed him. “The first thing I did when I read the email was call my friend John (Onsongo) who is the PA to the Governor to ask him if there’s any issue concerning impropriety they did together with this gentleman and he told me there’s nothing like that so I treated the email with the contempt it deserved.”
The investigation into Tunoi is centred around an affidavit sworn by Kiplagat which casts Njeru, Onsongo, himself and several others as co-conspirators in a scheme to tilt the scales of justice in Kidero’s favour in an election petition that was before the Supreme Court.
He claims Kidero paid Tunoi Sh200 million in a bribe to ensure the Supreme Court upheld his election as Nairobi Governor in a scenario that was enacted on Wednesday at the behest of the Sharad Rao chaired tribunal, prior to Njeru’s appearance before them.