By Dante Kayugira, Nairobi
A 12 member tribunal former by former President Uhuru Kenyatta to investigate the conduct of suspended High Court Judge Said Juma Chitembwe has recomeded for his removal from office.
The tribunal that was chaired by Court of Appeal Judge Mumbi Ngugi handed over the report to President William Ruto at Statehouse Nairobi.
Justice Chitembwe has 10 days to appeal against his removal from office over lack of professionalism and gross misconduct.
Chitembwe’s tribulations started in April last year when then Governor of Nairobi Mike Sonko shared videos and photos where the Judicial officer allegedly received bribes on cases that were before him.
The judge has since denied any wrongdoing saying the that the videos were edited to frame him.
The Judicial Service Commission (JSC) through Chief Justice Martha Koome wrote to President Kenyatta asking him to form a tribunal that would investigate the Judge in May 2022.
“Accordingly, the Commission resolved to send the Petition to His Excellency the President for his further action in accordance with article 168(4) of the Constitution,” Koome’s letter read I part.
The tribunal is made up of Justice Ngugi, Tribunal, lawyer James Ochieng’ Oduol , Dr Lydia Nzomo, Dr. Fred Ojiambo, Justice Nzioki wa Makau, Lt. Gen. (Rtd.) Jackson W. Ndugu, Senior Counsel Kiragu Kimani as the Lead counsel and the assisting Counsel being Joseph Gitonga Riungu and Edward Omotii Nyang’au.
The Tribunal first presented their findings on Tuesday, February 7. The tribunal recommended Justice chitembwe to be removed from office after the evidence adduced was proved beyond reasonable doubt.
If aggrieved by the tribunal’s findings, Chitembwe has ten days to file an appeal according to the constitution of Kenya in article 168 (8). Which states that , “A judge who is aggrieved by a decision of the tribunal under this Article may appeal against the decision to the Supreme Court, within ten days after the tribunal makes its recommendations,”
“The allegations of the breach of conduct prescribed for Judges of the Superior Courts and gross misconduct or misbehaviour contrary to Article 168(1)(b) and (e) of the Constitution respectively were established to the required standard of proof,” the Justice Mumbi Ngugi-led tribunal said.
State House spokesperson Hussein Mohammed said it will act on the findings after the lapse of the period prescribed by law for Chitembwe to appeal. According to his statement. This statement means that if Justice chitembwe fails to appeal by February 17 the president will remove him as a judge