Kiplagat in trouble as friend denies knowledge of affidavit in Tunoi probe
Former Kass FM journalist Geoffrey Kiplagat attempted to blackmail and extort businessman Mike Njeru, a former friend. This was the testimony given by Njeru to the tribunal probing suspended Supreme Court Judge Philip Tunoi Tuesday over bribery allegations.
Njeru alleged that he had supported Kiplagat financially for a long time, and was shocked that he would implicate him in the two hundred million shillings bribery scam.
Njeru, a businessman with links to several politicians, did not deny knowledge of Kiplagat, whom, from where he sits, says has turned him from a friend to his accuser.
“My relationship with Kiplagat had been very cordial,” said Njeru.
Njeru stated that his friendship with Kiplagat dated back to 2005 during the constitutional referendum, while Kiplagat worked for a radio station in the Rift Valley.
Their friendship went on for years and when he was out of work, Njeru claims it was him he turned to for financial support and networking.
“I got him a job at Ghetto Radio and later at Nairobi City County. He wrote me an email stating he had not been paid, he did not have rent and food, the child was sick,” said Njeru.
Njeru told the Sharad Rao-led tribunal that Kiplagat’s claims amounted to blackmail, which he believes is only after the businessman withdrew financial aid and personal support from him.
“Kiplagat kept pestering me, I told him to be a man. I stopped picking his calls,” said the businessman.
Njeru then discredited Kiplagat’s entire affidavit.
“On February 16th, 2015 is the first time I saw this document (affidavit) from Kiplagat and I felt it was blackmail, this was someone I had known. When I got the first email, I was very annoyed, and even if I was to take any legal recourse I ignored it as nothing, this was someone I had been supporting from hand-to-mouth,” Njeru told the tribunal.
“I expected the JSC to go through my documents but I was with them for only 5 minutes. At that time I didn’t tell JSC that I doubted the document, at the time this thing had been publicized too much in the media,” he added.
Except for the alleged threats on his life, Kiplagat had claimed that he was out of Nairobi for the better part of late 2015.
“Kiplagat was in Nairobi, there is no truth that he was out of Nairobi since November, and I know this because he was very close to my driver, if you wish, I can bring in my driver,” added Njeru.
The tribunal has been adjourned until Wednesday when Nairobi Governor Dr. Evans Kidero’s Personal Assistant John Osogo will appear before the it.
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