The Judicial Service Commission has dismissed a petition that was seeking removal of three Supreme Court judges over allegations of gross misconduct in relation to the Wajir county governorship election petition.
The petitioner, Mr Jared Ongeri, had claimed that the justices Mohamed Ibrahim, Smokin Wanjala and Njoki Ndung’u were persuaded by a politician to rule in favour of Governor Mohamed Abdi.
Also accused of misconduct was Justice professor Jackton Ojwang, but he has since retired. In the petition lodged on March 8, 2019, Mr Ongeri made allegations of violation of the Constitution, gross misconduct, breach of the Judicial Code of Conduct and Ethics and Oath of Office.
However, the JSC on Thursday found the allegations were unsubstantiated and devoid of evidence in support of the petition.
Chief Registrar of Judiciary Anne Amadi said the petitioner and the judges’ responses were tabled before JSC on November 11, 2020.
Upon consideration JSC that the petitioner was given opportunity to prove the allegations but failed to furnish the judges with better particulars as requested and present any evidence in support of the petition.
He further declined to proceed for the oral hearing of the petition as scheduled. This prompted JSC to dismiss the case.
“This therefore is to convey to you the decision of the Commission to the effect that the petition has been dismissed,” said Ms Amadi in a letter to the judges. The letter was also sent to Mr Ongeri’s advocates Nchogu, Omwanza & Nyasimi.
In response to the petition, the judges had dismissed the allegations and had described them as fabrications and unsubstantiated.
They had also said the claims required investigations by the Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI) and Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission (EACC).
Justice Wanjala had termed the petition as “pre-mature and a cruel assault against the character, integrity and standing of the apex court in the land”.
He had asked the petitioner to provide names and documentary identities of the persons with whom he allegedly communicated during the hearing and determination of the gubernatorial election petition.
Similarly, if there were any physical meetings, he asked the petitioner to specify through recordings, transcripts, CCTV footage or other scientific evidence.
Justice Wanjala also, on the bribery allegations, had asked Mr Ongeri to furnish him with the time in September 2018 when a bribe of Sh75 million was allegedly paid to him.
On her Justice Ndung’u said she had written to DCI requesting she be investigated alongside everyone who has been mentioned or had a link to the petition filed against her at the JSC.
“I have requested the DCI to commence a very urgent investigation of the ‘facts’ alleged by the petitioner and ensure anyone found culpable is immediately arraigned before court on appropriate charges including myself, if such evidence emerges,” she said.