Kerubo to sue Nancy Baraza for damages
The security guard at the centre of the gun drama involving deputy Chief Justice Nancy Baraza has vowed to go to court if the suspended judge is cleared of the charges. Rebecca Kerubo said she will sue if the tribunal investigating Justice Baraza's conduct clears her. The tribunal is due to deliver its verdict today and several sources have told the Star that the judge is likely to be cleaed.
"The tribunal has in the last two weeks been considering returning a no guilty verdict since there was no evidence to prove her guilt," said an official of the tribunal who requested anonymity as he did not want to be cited for breaching the tribunal rules. Other sources said the tribunal set aside the confession that Baraza made to the Judicial Service Commisson in which she allegedly admitted to the incident. "The moment that happened, Kerubo was reduced to a mere witness. It became difficult to prove many things," said a source a the tribunal.
Yesterday, Kerubo said through her lawyer Irungu Kangata tjay she would go to court to challenge the tribunal decision if it cleared Justice Baraza. "I will argue that my client was treated unfairly. She was made a witness and was not even allowed legal representation even though she was the complainant," said Kangata.
He said his client will still sue Baraza for damages even if tribunal finds against the judge. It has been eight months since the New Year's eve nose-tweaking-gun drama incident happened at the Village Market shopping mall. The judge pinched Kerubo's nose and allegedly pulled a gun on her when the security guard requested that she under the mandatory security check.
The tribunal, headed by former Tanzania Chief Justice Agostino Stephen Lawrence Ramadhani will recommend to President Kibaki whether or not to retain or remove Baraza as a judge. Justice Baraza was suspended on January 23 following the recommendations of the Judicial Service Commission. Kibaki subsequently named the seven-member tribunal to investigate Baraza's suitability as a judge.
The judge made several attempts to stop the tribunal alleging that all of its members, except for the chairman, were her juniors. The case was dismissed by the constitutional court which however instructed the tribunal to restrict itself to the petition forwarded to President Kibaki by the JSC. Baraza’s removal will deal a blow to the Supreme Court which recently lost Justice Mohammed Ibrahim who was axed by the Judges and Magistrates Vetting Board recently over case backlog when he served a High Court judge.
The court has seven judges including the Chief Justice Willy Mutunga. More than 20 witnesses testified in the tribunal including Kerubo. The tribunal also visited the scene at the Village Market where the incident happened.