Kidero denies Sh200m bribery allegations, says never met Kiplagat

Kidero denies Sh200m bribery allegations, says never met Kiplagat

Nairobi Governor Evans Kidero has denied allegations that he bribed Supreme Court Judge Phillip Tunoi with Sh200 million in a bid to influence the outcome of an election petition by Kabete MP Ferdinand Waititu, as claimed by former journalist Geoffrey Kiplagat.

Kidero further told the Sharad Rao-led tribunal that he has never met the whistleblower Geoffrey Kiplagat.

“Allegations that Kiplagat got VIP treatment are not true. I have never met him, I don’t know if he ever came to City Hall,” said Kidero

“On August 27 between 1900 hours to 2100 hours , I was at home in Muthaiga as always, it was impossible to be on Waiyaki Way,” he added.

“I have never met Tunoi, not even shaken hands. The closest I have come to him is today.”

Kiplagat last month told the tribunal how a briefcase with the cash was handed to the judge who sat in the back seat of a vehicle at a petrol station in Westlands, Nairobi.

Earlier on, mobile telephone service provider Safaricom told the tribunal it does not store subscribers SMS contents or call records.

Before the tribunal, Shaka Kwach, a representative from Safaricom, further indicated that they only store data showing the date, time, duration, phone numbers and call location in their systems.

Kwach, who was appearing to shed more light on phone conversations said to have taken place about the exchange of Sh200 million between Governor Evans Kidero and Justice Tunoi as alleged by Tunoi’s accuser Geoffrey Kiplagat, further revealed that the mobile service provider only stores information on subscribers required by law for up to seven years.

Kwach indicated that the cell location could show from few metres to kilometers.

Police Inspector Monica Wambui Githaiga from the Directorate of Criminal Investigations attached to Kiambu County criminal intelligence unit also appeared before the Sharad Rao-led tribunal over the same alleged phone conversations.

Inspector Wambui told the tribunal that analysis of data shows that Kiplagat sent messages to Tunoi, but the judge did not respond.

Tunoi’s lead Counsel Ngatia, while cross examining inspector Githaiga, poked holes into allegations that Kiplagat met with Tunoi, Kiprop, Kidero and Kigen by establishing that they were in separate places between 1900 hours and 2100 hours on the day of issuing the bribe at Petro Petrol Station along Waiyaki Way.

According to the data presented, Inspector Githaiga said none of them was in that vicinity.

The tribunal also heard that Kiplagat did not call Justice Tunoi as earlier alleged.

Also before the tribunal was businessman Kiprop Chirchir who is closely associated with the governor from the time he worked at Mumias.

Kiprop told the tribunal that Kiplagat’s allegations are false.

Tunoi’s woes began after Kiplagat, a former Kass FM presenter, swore an affidavit alleging that money changed hands from Kidero to Justice Tunoi in a bid to influence his ruling in an election petition filed by the now Kabete MP Ferdinand Waititu.

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Story By Wangui Ngechu
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