, NAIROBI, Kenya, Apr 26 – Two detectives testifying during the ongoing probe against Justice Philip Tunoi were on Tuesday hard pressed to explain why they failed to arrest his accuser Geoffrey Kiplagat, who sought ‘help’ to extort money from the judge, an obvious crime.
The officers revealed that Kiplagat wanted Justice Tunoi and Nairobi Governor Evans Kidero, being senior members of the society, “threatened by plainclothes officers or get them handcuffed by uniformed police officers.”
His proposal was for the two officers to accompany him during unspecified dates to demand for his Sh30 million share of the Sh200 million allegedly given to Justice Tunoi.
One of the officers, Assistant Inspector General of Police Stanley Cheruiyot says Kiplagat claimed that Justice Tunoi and Kidero were to give him Sh30 million for the role he played as a link between the two.
Though he viewed him as a potential suspect, the senior policeman said he also saw Kiplagat a whistle blower whose rights needed to be guaranteed.
“I restrained myself since I thought that he could be a whistle blower and that I could have been suppressing information,” he said.
“When he said that he wanted us to threaten senior government officials, I developed second thoughts that he could be peddling lies.”
In a statement that attracted reactions from almost the entire members of the tribunal, Cheruiyot said, “a police officer cannot force anyone to make a formal complaint.”
He went on to say that, “he could not have investigated rumours and yet he (Kiplagat) had not provided any evidence.”
Cheruiyot revealed that he was only a legal advisor at the Directorate of Criminal Investigations. “My role was only advisory… I would not have initiated an enquiry on the matter.”
He described Kiplagat as evasive after only providing unsubstantiated information during their October 17, 2014 meeting at the CID headquarters.
“He did not mention the names of the alleged Tunoi or Kidero’s agents…I disregarded his information,” he said.
Tunoi’s lawyer Fred Ngatia wondered how a member of public would walk into the highest investigative office in the land to make such an “outrageous request.”
He was questioned what motivated Kiplagat to pick on the two officers only.
“I don’t know him, where resides or even where he comes from,” Cheruiyot, a serving member of the police service for 29 years said.
Corporal Peter Kiptoo, a friend of Kiplagat for 10 years told the tribunal that though they advised him to make a formal complaint, Kiplagat insisted that he just wanted his due and was not interested in pursuing the alleged graft case.
The detective, based at the CID headquarters said Kiplagat had called him for almost 20 times before their visit.
“We come from the same county,” he told the tribunal.
The tribunal will on Wednesday visit the alleged petrol station, located along Waiyaki Way, where Tunoi’s agents are said to have received the Sh200 million.