, NAIROBI, Kenya, Jan 6 – The controversy surrounding the alleged gun drama between Deputy Chief Justice Nancy Baraza and Rebecca Kerubo took a new twist on Friday, following sensational claims that the security guard sought Sh3 million in compensation.
PR consultant John Nyongesa, who says he was sent to make arrangements for a meeting between the two for Baraza to make a formal apology over the altercation on New Year’s eve, claimed Kerubo demanded the payout before she could accept any apology.
Nyongesa told Capital News that Kerubo had initially agreed to meet Baraza at her Gachie home but changed her mind midway and instead involved a lawyer.
“The truth of the matter is that during our conversation with her yesterday (Thursday), she agreed to meet us so that we can discuss issues about an apology but when we arrived at the home, she changed all of a sudden and involved a lawyer,” Nyongesa told Capital News in a telephone interview on Friday.
“We were surprised when she started talking about Sh3 million as compensation because that was not our mandate at all. We just went there to discuss about how she can get an apology from the deputy CJ.”
Nyongesa explained that he was mediating between the two because “I have known Baraza for long even when she was in the civil society and we were just going there to talk about an apology… not compensation.”
Kerubo however robustly denied the payout claim when contacted by Capital News on telephone.
“I have not asked for any money. When those people came to my home yesterday (Thursday) we did not discuss anything to do with compensation. I just listened to them and we were talking about an apology from the deputy CJ but we could not agree,” Kerubo said.
“Even now there are people saying they have been sent by Baraza and they have been calling me since morning, but we have not met because I am at work at the Village Market. I am back to work and I am busy. Even journalists have been calling me asking me to notify them of any meeting between myself and the people sent from the Deputy CJ.”
Nyongesa earlier told Capital News that the security guard kept shifting her conditions despite going on national TV and saying all she wanted was an apology from the deputy CJ.
“This lady and her husband kept changing their stand because they even insisted that for her to accept an apology, she would have to withdraw a complaint she filed with the police, but I told her this cannot work at all because we had no intention of interfering with an active investigation. Baraza was only interested in offering her an apology because she had talked about it on television,” Nyongesa said and regretted having involved himself in the matter.
“I regret because when we arrived there, I was shocked to learn that the family had called journalists and they kept on saying that they have lawyers who are going to handle the matter. Her husband insisted that she cannot discuss the matter with us until her brother comes. The person she was referring to as her brother later turned out to be a city lawyer,” Nyongesa said, adding; “we told them we can’t proceed with the discussions because their conditions of demanding money and withdrawal of the case was not part of our mandate.”
The compensation twist came even as a Kenyan Researcher initiated a process seeking the removal of the Deputy CJ from office. (See separate story).
In a petition to the secretary of the Judicial Service Commission (JSC), Peter Gichira Solomon quoted relevant provisions of the Constitution and is seeking her ejection for misconduct against Rebecca Kerubo. Baraza has admitted there was an altercation but denies brandishing a gun at the guard.
Solomon said that by her words, actions and demeanour, Baraza has failed to uphold constitutional Leadership and Integrity provisions under Chapter Six.
He also states that the Deputy CJ has failed to uphold the law through her “power to rule” attitude towards Kerubo who was performing her official security duties.
According to the Constitution, the process of removing a judge can be initiated by the Judicial Service Commission on its own motion or at the instigation of a private citizen.
Solomon said his petition is informed by his worry that public dissatisfaction with the way the issue is dealt with may strike a fatal blow to confidence in the Judiciary and the rule of law.
He believes that if the law is given the highest priority and justice is done, then a reputation for the Judiciary and the new dispensation will forever have been established.
Chief Justice Willy Mutunga on Thursday called for an emergency meeting of the JSC to discuss the matter.
In a statement sent to newsrooms, Mutunga said the Judiciary had instituted an internal investigation into the incident that occurred on December 31 at the up market mall.
“This matter has rightly generated considerable public interest and should be dealt with conclusively and satisfactorily. I am in the process of getting full facts surrounding the incident,” he indicated.
The JSC meeting is expected to take place next week.
The saga broke out when Kerubo claimed Baraza brandished a gun at her after insisting that she undergoes a mandatory security check.
Baraza has admitted there a disagreement but denies the gun claim.