After further consultation and review of the relevant provisions of the Constitution, and given the strict timelines for the setting up of a Tribunal for the investigation of a Judge, I have today suspended Justice Philip K. Tunoi, as a judge of the Supreme Court, with immediate effect, and appointed a Tribunal to investigate his conduct.
I have made this decision, despite my concerns regarding the pending matters before the Court of Appeal, as to the correct age of retirement for Judges who served under the previous constitutional dispensation. I believe that my concerns may now be addressed by the Tribunal itself, which may independently consider the merit, if any, of such concerns, should it be raised before it.
I reiterate my commitment and fidelity to the Constitution of Kenya, and confirm that I will continue to uphold and defend it, as I have from the first day I took oath of office as President. Nothing less should ever be expected from me and the office I hold in trust of Kenyans.
I hereby appoint the following to be the members of the said Tribunal:
23rd February, 2016
“President Uhuru Kenyatta has suspended Supreme Court Judge Philip Tunoi and formed a seven-member tribunal led by Sharad Rao to probe his conduct over bribery allegations. The announcement was made Tuesday afternoon by State House spokesman Manoah Esipisu through his official twitter handle. Esipisu said: “After further consultation, President Uhuru Kenyatta suspends Justice Philip K. Tonui as judge of the Supreme Court.” (…)”President Kenyatta appoints seven-member Tribunal, chaired by Sharad Rao to investigate conduct of Justice Tonui.” 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” (Kenyan Citizen TV, 2016).
The Judicial Service Commission has this afternoon received the report of the Special Committee set up on 27th January 2016 to inquire into the allegation of bribery against Hon Mr. Justice Phillip K. Tunoi.
The Commission has deliberated upon and adopted the report.
The Commission is satisfied that from the totality of the material and information presented before it there was inappropriate interaction and communication between the Hon. Mr. Justice Phillip K. 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, sufficient to warrant the establishment of a tribunal to further investigate the matter.
Secondly, as to whether or not there is material to suggest that a bribe was given to the Hon. Mr. Justice Phillip K. Tunoi on 27.8.2014 in order to influence the decision in Supreme Court Election Petition No 18/2014 Evans Odhiambo Kidero & 4 Others -Vs- Ferdinand Waititu Ndungu & 4 others to favour the Petitioner, the Commission is satisfied that this is an issue that requires further investigation by the said tribunal.
Arising from the foregoing, the Commission is satisfied that a Prima Facie case of gross misconduct and misbehaviour has been disclosed against the Hon. Mr. Justice Phillip K. Tunoi.
The Judicial Service Commission shall therefore recommend to his Excellency the President that a tribunal be established to investigate the matter.
Dated at Nairobi this 5th day of February, 2016.
HON. DR. WILLY MUTUNGA, D.Jur, SC, EGH, SEGH
CHAIR, JUDICIAL SERVICE COMMISSION
“A special committee of the judicial service commission investigating bribery allegations against Supreme Court judge Philip Tunoi says it will present its findings this Friday. This after the expiry of the period within which it was supposed to complete hearings from justice Tunoi, Nairobi governor Evans Kidero and others implicated in the allegations. The committee which was appointed last week had been given seven days to complete the task” (KTN News, 2016)
“2 million US dollars can fit into 2 standard size suitcases. Kiplagat alleges Kidero bribed Justice Tunoi with 2 million dollars. 2 million US dollars would weigh about 20Kgs” (Kenya Citizen TV, 2016).
“Supreme Court Judge Phllip Tunoi sought to discredit his accuser in the Sh 200 million bribery saga as he fought off allegations that could bring down his career and those of several colleagues. Appearing before a committee probing the allegations Tunoi said an affidavit implicating him was possibly drawn by judiciary staff in an elaborate plot to end his career. As Francis Gachuri now reports Tunoi’s accuser Geoffrey Kiplagat also appeared before the committee that has until Wednesday to submit its findings” (Kenya Citizen TV, 2016).
Think, that is enough for now. Peace.