By Jude Titus
The Judicial Service Commission (JSC) has recommended that Supreme Court Judge Philip Tunoi face a tribunal after it emerged he has a case to answer. The commission yesterday proposed a tribunal which will be formed by President Uhuru Kenyatta to investigate Tunoi over the graft allegations.
Justice Tunoi allegedly received Sh200 million from Dr. Evans Kidero to rule in favour of the Nairobi governor over the current Kabete Member of Parliament, Ferdinand Waititu in 2014. The Nairobi County boss has however denied the bribery allegations insisting he has never met the Supreme Court Judge Justice Tunoi.
Chief Justice Willy Mutunga in a television broadcast on Friday said that the probe team at JSC found the Supreme Court Judge culpable of the allegations and therefore it is crucial to carry out extensive investigation into the matter.
“The commission is satisfied, from the totality of the material and information presented before it, that there was inappropriate interaction and communication between Justice Tunoi and agents of a litigant in a matter pending before the Supreme Court. This in the opinion of the commission amounts to gross misconduct and misbehavior,” he stated.
On his part, Judge Tunoi has maintained that he has a clean record and a clear conscience over the graft allegations leveled against him. He said that the allegations are spear-headed by people playing succession politics in the Judiciary pending the exit of Chief Justice Willy Mutunga and his Deputy Kalpana Rawal.
Judge Tunoi has also been facing criticism from people opposed to his push for an extension in his retirement age. He said he had read both the old and the new constitution and has a right to demand to retire at age 74.
In late May 2014, Justice Tunoi was served with a notice by the Chief registrar of the Supreme Court to exit office by June 3rd the same year, having attained the age of 70 years. Together with High Court Justice David A. Onyancha, Justice Tunoi sued the Judicial Service Commission and the Judiciary challenging the decision to have them exit office.