Justice Philip Tunoi was accused in an affidavit given to Chief Justice Mutunga of taking a bribe of Sh200 million from Mr Kidero, who became governor in March 2013, and who has likewise denied giving any such bribe.
The Judicial Service Commission (JSC) has however established that he did indeed engage in misconduct and should face a tribunal. It found sufficient evidence that the judge has inappropriate contact with people involved in the Nairobi Governor Evans Kidero’s election petition. Chief Justice Willy Mutunga said “The Commission is satisfied that a Prima Facie case of gross misconduct and misbehavior has been disclosed against the Hon Mr Justice Philip Tunoi,”.
He further recommended that his excellency, President Uhuru Kenyatta put together a tribunal which will further investigate the matter.
Chief Justice Willy Mutunga said that he had ordered an inquiry into Geoffrey Kiplagat’s allegations in the affidavit because of their “gravity” and the amount of public interest that the matter had generated. He said further; “we are committed to running a clean judiciary and any matter that is brought before us is investigated and acted on fairly without prejudice to individual rights or public interest.”
Prof. Margaret Kobia, the Public Service Commission (PSC) chair who led the six member JSC committee further indicated: “Whether or not there is material to suggest that a bribe was given to the Hon. Justice Philip Tunoi to influence the decision in Supreme Court election petition No. 18/2014 Evans Odhiambo Kidero and 4 others- Vs – Ferdinand Waititu Ndungu and 4 others to favor the petitioner, the commission is satisfied that this is an issue that requires further investigations by the tribunal.”
Justice Tunoi who continues in his insistence that the accusations and actions are merely a smear campaign, vocalizes his willingness to leave the judiciary if there is any truth in the allegations, saying to Kenya’s NTV station; “I would not hesitate to leave the judiciary immediately if my accuser can prove an iota of my wrongdoing,”.