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Supreme judge fights graft claims



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Supreme Court Judge Mohammed Ibrahim has dismissed bribery allegations levelled against him in a petition filed before the Judicial Service Commission.

In response filed on Tuesday, the Judge denied claims of corruption and bribery, made by Mr Jared Ongeri, adding that the petitioner will be strictly asked to prove them.

The judge defended the decision rendered by the majority judges in the Wajir gubernatorial election, saying he made it “consciously, independently and without bad faith or undue influence whatsoever”.

Mr Ongeri filed a petition against four judges of the apex court, including Justice Ibrahim, Jackton Ojwang, Smokin Wanjala and Njoki Ndungu, following their decision to allow an appeal by Wajir Governor Mohammed Abdi Mohamud.

Chief Justice David Maraga and Justice Isaac Lenaola wrote dissenting opinions, saying they would have dismissed the appeal.

After filing the complaint, JSC directed the judges to file their responses within two weeks.

And on Tuesday, Justice Ibrahim said the complaint against him no longer has a basis after Mr Ongeri wrote a letter to JSC withdrawing references made to him on allegations of improper conduct.

“Having withdrawn allegations against the respondent touching on improper communication between the judge and a Cabinet secretary, the petition has no factual basis,” he said, adding that the petition against him does not disclose any gross misconduct or breach of judicial code of conduct.

Another petitioner, Mr Mohamed Mohamud Sheikh, withdrew his case against all the four judges.

Mr Sheikh had filed the suit alongside 600 residents of Wajir County.

Mr Ongeri was the first to petition JSC to investigate the four judges, citing allegations of bribery and misconduct.

But he later wrote to JSC regarding Justice Ibrahim.

“We withdraw the allegations made vide our letter dated March 11, 2019 against Cabinet secretary… Any reference to the CS should thus be deemed withdrawn,” he said through Nchogu, Omwanza and Nyasimi Advocates.

In the five allegations levelled against Justice Ibrahim, Mr Ongeri had alleged that the CS was to influence the judge to join the three other judges in rendering a majority decision in the Wajir gubernatorial petition.

He complained that the actions of the judges, upholding the election Governor Mohamud, cannot be explained away as judicial fallibility or mistakes.

Mr Ongeri said that the judges have, between them, more than 135 years of post-admission experience as advocates, “Two PhDs in Law, masters in law (LLM) and 48 years’ worth of service on the Kenyan bench”.

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