Kenya Commission Wants Tribunal to Probe Judge, Nation Says

  • Supreme Court Judge accused of taking $2 million bribe
  • President expected to appoint formal tribunal on matter

Kenya’s Judicial Service Commission wants a tribunal formed to probe corruption allegations against Supreme Court Judge Justice Philip Tunoi, the Daily Nation reported.
A special JSC committee found Tunoi culpable of bribery allegations, the newspaper based in the capital, Nairobi, said.
Tunoi has denied he accepted $2 million to judge favorably in an election petition against Nairobi Governor Evans Kidero. The Supreme Court upheld the politician’s election in an August 2014 ruling after his victory was challenged by Ferdinand Waititu, a rival politician. Kidero denied any involvement in the matter in comments broadcast on Nairobi-based Nation TV on Jan. 31.

Tunoi was appointed one of seven Supreme Court judges in June 2011 after a new constitution created the judicial institution.

Kenyan Chief Justice Willy Mutunga has sought to eliminate graft in the judiciary by taking measures including disciplinary action against officers and asking the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission to conduct lifestyle audits for judges, magistrates and other staff. Kenya, sub-Saharan Africa’s fourth-biggest economy, ranks among the world’s 30 most corrupt countries, according to Transparency International, the Berlin-based advocacy group.

“There is indeed a lot of corruption in the judiciary and it means the Supreme Court is also tainted,” Law Society of Kenya Chairman Eric Mutua said by phone. “The most suitable way to deal with this situation is to have the entire Supreme Court reconstituted.”

The nation’s constitution now requires President Uhuru Kenyatta to appoint a formal seven-person tribunal within 14 days to investigate the matter fully, Mutua said. Tunoi may face prosecution should that panel recommend his removal.

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