Judge Smokin Wanjala Calls For Investigation On Bribery Allegations Alleged Against Him And Other Supreme Court Judges

by Mahakamani News
Justice Smokin Wanjala

Justice Smokin Wanjala has called for thorough probe by a multi-agency team on bribery allegations against him and his Supreme Court colleagues Mohamed Ibrahim, Jackton Ojwang and Njoki Ndung’u.

In reply filed through Senior Counsel Fred Ojiambo, the renowned scholar argued that the Judicial Service Commission (JSC) had no power to interrogate Supreme Court Judges.

He said he is prepared to co-operate with investigative agencies to unearth the “grossly unsubstantiated allegations” made by Jared Ongeri through his advocate Omwanza Ombati.

“Justice Wanjala is equally eager to have the allegations leveled against him investigated and to have his name and reputation cleared. He shall to that end seek to co-operate with the organs investigating to ensure a speedy and effective investigation,” he said.

“The JSC, in its juristic composition and structural inventory, has no jurisdiction and functional capacity to investigate complaints contained in petitions presented under Article 168 (3) of the Constitution. The JSC, by Article 172 of the Constitution, can only investigate complaints against Registrars, magistrates and other judicial officers and staff of the Judiciary but not Judges,” Ojiambo said.

“If the accusers of Justice Wanjala have themselves realized the deficiencies of their complaints and have instead prayed that further investigations be conducted, can the JSC make a determination that is expeditious, efficient, lawful, reasonable and procedurally fair before the investigations are concluded” the veteran lawyer posed.

He said the complainant enjoyed the civil and political constitutional rights to lodge his grievances with the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission (EACC) and the Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI). “The petition (by Ongeri) is totally pre-meditated, premature and a cruel assault, without any factual justification, against the character, integrity and standing of Judges of the apex court in the land,” Ojiambo pointed out.

The lawyer demanded specific details to prove that Eldas Member of Parliament Adan Keynan paid Sh15million bribe to Justice Wanjala to influence him to rule in favour of Wajir Governor Mohamed Abdi. Further, he wants identities of persons the Judge allegedly constantly communicated with during the pendency of the election petition before the Supreme Court.

SC Fred Ojiambo

Ojiambo told the JSC to provide information regarding the alleged travel to London by Justice Wanjala and Keynan. He wants the date and time in September last year when Justice Wanjala allegedly received Sh75million bribe from Sheikh Yunis and the details of the Toyota Land Cruiser V8 that allegedly ferried the money.

The lawyer asked for specific details regarding the alleged meetings between Justice Wanjala and Yusuf Omar Mohamed “for purposes of procuring girls” for the Judge.

Ojiambo recalled that lawyer Omwanza Ombati had already filed an application for review the Wajir gubernatorial election petition. The lawyer had written to the JSC on behalf of Jared Ongeri, alleging bribery and misconduct against the Judges.

“Whatever has been alleged in the petition concerning the relationship between Keynan and Justice Wanjala or other Supreme Court Judges is grossly unsubstantiated and requires further investigation before any conclusion even by the JSC is drawn,” Ojiambo said.

“Whatever has been alleged in the petition and letter dated March 11 concerning Sheikh Yunis Ibrahim Advocate, specifically his alleged role, the land transaction through which money was alleged to have been raised and contacts/ networks to Supreme Court Judges between August 2018 and March 2019 is grossly unsubstantiated and requires further investigation before any conclusions by the JSC can be drawn,” the advocates submitted.

“All that has been alleged in the petition and letter dated March 8 concerning Justice Wanjala and other Justices of the Supreme Court are grossly unsubstantiated and require further investigation by a multi-agency investigating team before any conclusions even by the JSC can be drawn,” they said.

The learned judge said some of the paragraphs in the petition invites JSC to consider propriety of the merits or lack of the rulings and ultimately a judgment of the supreme court.

He added that those paragraphs are grounds to challenge the ruling and judgment of the supreme court.

“The paragraphs are essentially an appeal of the rulings and judgment of the supreme court to the JSC,” said the learned judge.

He added that JSC has been invited to sit on appeal of the substantive decisions of the supreme court and render an opinion by either rejecting their merits or advising the president under Article 168(4) of the constitution to constitute a tribunal for hearing the allegations with a view to removal of the named justices of the apex court.

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