, NAIROBI, Kenya, Feb 22 – State House says President Uhuru Kenyatta will not form a tribunal to investigate allegations that Philip Tunoi took a Sh200 million bribe from Nairobi Governor Evans Kidero before the Court of Appeal renders its decision on the retirement of the Supreme Court Judge.
Chief of Staff Joseph Kinyua says it would make no sense to form a tribunal to determine if Tunoi should be removed from office if it is found that he was meant to have left office anyway, on account of his age.
Kinyua says pending the decision of the Court of Appeal on whether Tunoi should have left office at 70, the High Court decision stands and it would therefore make no sense for President Uhuru Kenyatta to suspend a judge who should ideally no longer be in office.
“Justice Tunoi has already been declared by a court of competent jurisdiction to have ‘retired from office on attaining the age of 70 years’,” Kinyua stated in a letter to Chief Justice Willy Mutunga, who chairs the Judicial Service Commission.
The Judicial Service Commission (JSC) on February 9 recommended that President Kenyatta forms a tribunal to determine if Tunoi should continue to serve as a judge or be removed from the bench after it established that there had been contact between Kidero’s agents and Tunoi around the time the former had an election petition pending before the Supreme Court.
“A prima facie case of gross misconduct and misbehaviour has been disclosed against Justice Tunoi. Whether or not there is material to suggest that a bribe was given to Justice Tunoi on August 27, 2014 in order to influence the decision in Supreme Court Election Petition No 18/2014 Evans Kidero & 4 Others -vs- Ferdinand Waititu Ndung’u and 4 others to favour the petitioner, the commission is satisfied that this is an issue that requires further investigation by the said tribunal,” Chief Justice Willy Mutunga stated.
The JSC on Feb 17 made clear that it had provided President Kenyatta with everything he needed to constitute the said tribunal after his spokesman Manoah Esipisu told Capital FM News that their submission to the Office of the President was missing critical, “documents.”