Tribunal to probe Justice Tunoi sworn in

Justice Tunoi has refuted the bribery allegations levelled against him. [Photo/Courtesy]

The tribunal formed to investigate bribery claims facing Supreme Court Judge Philip Tunoi has been sworn in, amid controversy over the chairmanship of the tribunal.

The Judges and Magistrates Vetting Board chair Sharad Rao has been sworn in as the chair of the tribunal, although earlier reports indicated that the President had appointed retired Justice Jonathan Havelock as the chair, after lawyers raised doubts on the qualifications of Rao to lead the tribunal.

Speaking after the swearing in ceremony, presided over by Chief Justice Willy Mutunga at the Supreme Court, Rao promised to carry out thorough investigations on the claims facing Tunoi without favour.

Justice Havelock, one of the six commissioners, did not attend the swearing in ceremony but is expected to be sworn in Thursday.

The tribunal was formed to determine whether Justice Tunoi should continue to hold office following claims by journalist Geoffrey Kiplagat that he took a bribe of 200 million shillings from Nairobi Governor Dr. Evans Kidero in an election petition case filed by Kabete MP Ferdinand Waititu.

In late February, President Uhuru Kenyatta suspended Tunoi and formed a six-member tribunal to further probe him.

Other members of the tribunal are: Justice Roselyn Korir, Justice (Rtd.) Jonathan Havelock, Judith Guserwa, James Kaberere Gachoka, Abdirashid Abdullahi Hussein and George Munji Wakukha.

Tunoi’s woes began after Kiplagat, a former KASS FM presenter, alleged that he had received Ksh 202 million from Nairobi Governor Dr. Evans Kidero to rule in his favour in an election petition filed by the now Kabete MP Ferdinand Waititu in an interview aired on NTV.

Waititu had moved to court to challenge IEBC’s decision to announce Kidero as Nairobi Governor after garnering 692,483 votes against Waititu’s 617,839.

The Supreme Court reaffirmed Kidero’s election in August 2014 ending a protracted court battle that had lasted for over a year.

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Maureen Murimi
Story By Maureen Murimi
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