NAIROBI, Kenya, Jun 23 – The tribunal probing the Sh200 million bribery claims against Philip Tunoi will on Monday rule whether his notice of retirement as a judge is valid.
While making submissions on the Supreme Court ruling that upheld that he should retire at 70, his lawyer Fred Ngatia contended that the notice of retirement came from the Judicial Service Commission (JSC) and not the Judiciary as required.
Ngatia argued that Tunoi is still serving as a judge since the letter he was presented with contains the signature of Anne Amadi, as the Secretary to the JSC.
“It is regrettable that there is no retirement notice that has been issued,” lawyer Ngatia asserted.
He cleared the air by categorically stating that his application was not meant to derail the process saying “the judge is tired with litigation.”
“JSC has borrowed a letterhead of the Judiciary and done a retirement notice, against all rulings,” Ngatia argued.
Tunoi first received a retirement notice on 28th April 2014 notifying him, “that his retirement was supposed to be effective 2nd June 2014.”
He however challenged the move in High Court where the letter was quashed and a ruling issued that only the Judiciary can issue a retirement notice.
The High Court ruling according to Ngatia stands, since it has not been challenged in all other levels and therefore, should be adhered to.
Lead Counsel to the tribunal Paul Nyamodi however disagreed with him stating that the matter did not lie within the jurisdiction of the tribunal but Tunoi should take the matter up as an individual.
He further cautioned the tribunal engaging the Judiciary on the matter since it will be treading on dangerous grounds.
“It is a matter for the judge to engage the Judiciary… the tribunal will be entering dangerous waters if it chose to engage the Judiciary,” Nyamodi warned.
Earlier on, Nyamodi in his submissions stated that the tribunal cannot continue with the probe since the judge was already retired.
Only a serving judge can be probed by a tribunal according to the Constitution.
Monday’s ruling will determine whether the tribunal should continue sitting or be disbanded.