Court quashes petition to stop Tunoi tribunal

Court quashes petition to stop Tunoi tribunal

A Nairobi High Court has dismissed a petition filed by activist Okiya Omtata seeking to stop the tribunal headed by Sharad Rao from investigating embattled judge Phillip Tunoi over bribery allegations.

Judge Joseph Onguto ruled it is not appropriate to stop the tribunal since the matter raises public interest, and Omtata’s claims can be handled by the tribunal even before it starts its proceedings.

The petition had challenged Rao’s appointment, arguing he is not fit to sit in the tribunal due to his advanced age and that he chairs the Judges and Magistrates Vetting Board that cleared Justice Tunoi to serve in the judiciary four years ago.

Omtata had also sued the president challenging his constitutional powers over the tribunal appointments.

The tribunal investigating corruption allegations against Supreme Court judge Philip Tunoi will start its sitting next month where it is expected to investigate claims that Justice Tunoi received a Sh202 million bribe from Nairobi Governor Evans Kidero to influence an election petition filed against him by Kabete MP Ferdinand Waititu.

The hearings will be at the tribunal’s office in Nairobi, once it has commenced on the 4th of April, until concluded, according to a document prepared by the tribunal.

The document contains the summary of the complaint, which has also been served on Justice Tunoi.

The document shows that the tribunal has also expanded the scope of its inquiry, to include other material available before it as well as others that may be made available to it later.

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Maureen Murimi
Story By Maureen Murimi
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