Supreme Court judge Wanjala dismisses bribery claims against him
Supreme Court judge Smokin Wanjala has dismissed all allegations of gross misconduct and bribery raised against him in a petition filed by one Jared Ongeri seeking his removal and three other apex court judges.
In his response filed on Wednesday, Justice Wanjala said the allegations raised in the petition are unsubstantiated and require investigations by a multi-agency investigative team.
The judge termed Ongeri’s petition as “pre-mature and a cruel assault against the character, integrity and standing of the apex court in the land,” further urging the Judicial Service Commission (JSC) to dismiss the case.
He asked the petitioner to provide names and documentary identities of the persons with whom he allegedly communicated during the hearing and determination of the Wajir 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, asked Mr. Ongeri to furnish him with the time in September 2018 when a bribe of Ksh.75 million was allegedly paid to him by Sheikh Yunis.
“Our client shall accordingly repose in expectation of a formal lawful decision of the JSC dismissing the said petition and letter dated March 11 to pave way for determination of the application for review before the Supreme Court and allow our clients to take steps before the legally mandated institutions to investigate the issues raised and redress,” read the response filed by Kaplan and Stratton Advocates on behalf of the judge.
He further argued that the JSC’s jurisdiction is limited to an assessment of the petition, adding that proceedings to investigate as invited or to order an investigation goes against the law and therefore any decisions founded by the commission shall be null and void.
“Any purported investigations by the JSC would put it in a situation where it must step into the shoes of the petitioner by looking for evidence to sanitize an irredeemably limping and deficient petition,” read court papers.
According to Justice Wanjala, the commission would become “the accuser and investigator and judge all at the same time,” further stating that attempting to entertain the merits or otherwise of the appeal by JSC shall be in contravention of the constitution and the law.
The lawyers submitted that all allegations raised by the petitioner concerning the relationship between Adan Keynan and Justice Wanjala or any other Supreme Court judge is grossly unsubstantiated and requires further investigations before any conclusions even by the JSC.