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JSC holds special sitting to decide Justice Tunoi’s fate

Justice Philip Tunoi seen here sitting on a Supreme Court bench alongside Chief Justice Willy Mutunga. Photo/ FILE

Justice Philip Tunoi seen here sitting on a Supreme Court bench alongside Chief Justice Willy Mutunga (R) and Jackton Ojwang (l). Photo/ FILE

NAIROBI, Kenya, Jan 27 – The Judicial Service Commission was holding a special sitting Wednesday to decide on the fate of a Kenyan Supreme Court Judge accused of taking over Sh200 million in a bribe.

Chief Justice Willy Mutunga said he would share the findings of an investigation into Justice Philip Tunoi with the Commission at the meeting.

“In view of the seniority of the judge, the gravity of the allegations, and the public interest this matter has generated, I will be presenting this matter to a special sitting of the JSC that I have summoned for Wednesday, 10am ,” he said in a statement on Monday.

The JSC is expected to review the report and decide whether to recommend that President Uhuru  Kenyatta appoints a tribunal to investigate the allegations against the long-serving judge.

In the statement, Mutunga said he received the complaint against Tunoi in the form of a sworn affidavit in November 2015.

He said he then directed that, “thorough investigations,” be carried out, “in line with our internal protocols.”

He said they would be sharing their findings with the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission and the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions, “as required by the Constitution.”

One Geoffrey Kiplagat has sworn an affidavit claiming to have acted as a “bridge,” in the exchange of Sh202 million between Nairobi Governor Evans Kidero and Justice Tunoi so that the latter would sway the Supreme Court decision on the Constitutionality of the former’s election in his favour.

The Supreme Court in August 2014 adjudged that and an appeal filed by Kabete MP Ferdinand Waititu challenging Kidero’s election into office should not have been entertained by the Court of Appeal as it was time barred and thereby upheld Kidero’s election.

READ: Kidero remains Nairobi Governor – Supreme Court

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Following the revelation that money could have exchanged hands, Waititu now wants the decision reviewed.

“I have all along told Nairobians that something wrong had actually happened in the ruling, and I want to make a passionate appeal to the Chief Justice, Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI), National Intelligence Services (NIS) and Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission (EACC) to carry out a thorough investigations and make sure they satisfy the doubts that have now been created to the minds of Kenyans, that the Judiciary is corrupt. I want to tell the Chief Justice that the Judiciary is on trial,” he said at a press briefing in Mombasa on Tuesday.

READ: Waititu wants review of petition verdict after bribery claims

Tunoi who is currently embroiled in a retirement dispute with the JSC, has denied ever receiving a bribe and said the allegations are part of a conspiracy to, “hound,” him out of office.


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