BRIBERY allegations against a Supreme Court judge took a new twist at the weekend, with claims that other judges shared the cash to rule in Nairobi Governor Evans Kidero’s favour.
Kidero, who is alleged to have given out Sh200 million, also spoke for the first time and dismissed the claims.
In a tweet on Saturday, senior counsel Ahmednasir Abdullahi called the Supreme Court’s integrity into question, when he claimed that more judges of the highest court in the land may have benefited from the alleged bribe.
Abdullahi said via Twitter on Saturday evening that the bribe “is not $2million (Sh200m). It is about $3m (Sh300m)”.
He further claimed that Sh200 million was for four judges, whereby two were paid separately.
Yesterday, a special Judicial Service Commission subcommittee investigating the Sh200 million bribery allegations against Judge Philip Tunoi began formally receiving evidence.
The committee, chaired by Prof Margaret Kobia, took the testimony of Judiciary Ombudsman Kennedy Bidali as first witness.
Bidali presented before the committee video evidence of a complaint from Justice Tunoi’s accuser Geoffrey Kiplagat, a chronology of events narrating how investigations were undertaken from the time of receiving the complaint to the time of it being tabled before the JSC.
The hearing was conducted in camera.
The subcommittee was formed on Wednesday last week by the JSC chairman, Chief Justice and President of the Supreme Court Willy Mutunga.
The Star tried getting comments from the seven Supreme Court justices on the claims and encountered mixed responses, with some refusing to respond to the messages we left on their phones.
But Justice Smokin Wanjala dismissed the assertions by Ahmednasir and asked counsel to present whatever evidence on the alleged bribery he has to the JSC subcommittee formed to investigate the matter.
He added, “In fact, the subcommittee should summon him so that he can say whatever he knows about these claims.”
Lawyer Onyango Oloo, who is also TNA secretary general, said: "The Supreme Court should be clean, clean, clean. It has not helped grow jurisprudence. This court should be disbanded and new judges hired. There are enough lawyers in Kenya with the experience to work in such a court. They have even given themselves powers to [hear] cases in which the constitution does not give them powers."
And speaking in South Nyanza, Kidero maintained that he offered no one a bribe.
“They are claiming that I gave a Sh200-million bribe to secure a favourable verdict from the court. I have never met Justice Tonui. I see him on TV just like many of us. I was elected by the people of Nairobi and I will only go out when they say so,” he said in Migori.