, NAIROBI, Kenya, May 18 – Nairobi Governor Evans Kidero’s Personal Assistant John Osogo was on Wednesday hard-pressed to explain the context in which he had sent several text messages to Justice Phillip Tunoi’s accuser in the ongoing Sh200 million bribery probe.
Osogo admitted to have exchanged text messages with Geoffrey Kiplagat the man accusing Tunoi of receiving the bribe from Kidero on diverse dates in 2014.
The Sharad Rao-led tribunal wanted to know the meaning of the messages sent to Kiplagat before the Supreme Court ruling in Kidero’s election petition.
“I understand the ruling is on Thursday. Please confirm,” one of the contentious messages he sent to Kiplagat reads.
In his explanation, Osogo said the message sent on July 28, 2014 was not related to the Supreme Court ruling that was to be issued a few days later.
“I cannot remember the ruling I was referring to,” he told the tribunal.
Then, on a later date he sent another text reading, “Tumemaliza hiyo maneno, there is no need of travelling to Eldoret.”
He explained that Kiplagat had wanted them to travel to Eldoret, for him to see a 10 acre piece of land Kiplagat was selling as an agent in order to earn some commission.
“The land belonged to an elderly man who could not travel to Nairobi and Kiplagat was only an agent,” he said. “I was looking for an exit since I was not interested in buying the land.”
According to him, the message “had no meaning” since he just wanted to get Kiplagat “off his back.”
Osogo, who was forced a number of times to retract his statements, told the tribunal that Kiplagat was introduced to him by his friend Mike Njeru as a networked journalist, who could access anyone and any office without a problem.
By then, he said Kiplagat was in search of a job, and wanted him to help secure the County Director of Communication’s slot, which he agreed, though there was no such advertisement as required by law.
Kiplagat claims that Njeru and Osogo used him to reach out to Tunoi, allegations they have since refuted.
On Tuesday, Njeru was also taken to task over text messages exchanged between himself and Kiplagat – which the latter submitted as proof of Tunoi’s inducement – and was hard pressed to explain in which context, other than that claimed, they were exchanged.
One of the text messages Kiplagat submitted was sent to him by Njeru reads: “But your people called him directly.”
According to Kiplagat, Njeru was making reference to Tunoi’s representatives reaching out to Kidero but according to Njeru, he was simply advising Kiplagat to reach out to Osogo directly, for a job.
Others adversely mentioned by Kiplagat and expected to testify are Kidero and lawyer Katwa Kigen.
The tribunal will continue probing more witnesses on Thursday.