Renowned lawyer Ahmednassir Abdullahi has tabled a damning dossier detailing how four Supreme Court judges were allegedly bribed in the Wajir gubernatorial election petition.
The senior counsel who had been challenged by Chief Justice David Maraga to file a petition for removal of the four judges if he had sufficient evidence has forwarded to the Judicial Service Commission a 6,000 word petition giving details of how they were claimed to have been bribed.
The Chief Justice while responding to Abdullahi’s graft allegations levelled against the Supreme Court challenged him and others with information on graft at the Supreme Court to file petitions or table evidence at JSC.
“I challenge him to file a petition and assure him that the JSC will take stern and appropriate action against those judges if given the evidence of alleged corruption,” CJ Maraga declared.
In his petition, the vocal lawyer details how the four were comprised to rule in favour of Wajir governor Mohamed Abdi.
He accuses Njoki Ndung’u, JB Ojwang, Smokin Wanjala and Mohamed Ibrahim of receiving bribes from the governor.
Ahmednassir represented former governor Ahmed Abdullahi who challenged the election of Governor Abdi, a case he lost.
In the petition the lawyer states that the conduct of Justice Wanjala and Justice Ndung’u went against all known principles of judicial independence and conduct.
He says Justices Wanjala and Ndung’u were in constant communication with parties allied to Abdi while the case was pending.
The lawyer gives telephone numbers of Kheira Omar Bardad, Wajir governor’s wife, Mohamed Elmi (chief administrative secretary, ministry of Environment), Aden Keynan’s bodyguard which were used to communicate with Justice Ndung’u.
He also gives the telephone number of Justice Ndung’u and that of Chemoi, driver to an MP which was used in the conversations.
Elmi is the immediate former MP for Tarbaj constituency. Elmi now serves as the chief administrative secretary at ministry of Environment.
The lawyer avers that Elmi is seasoned politician and hails from Wajir county.
He says in the runup to the 2017 general election, they rallied behind Mohamed and campaigned for his election as the governor of Wajir.
Abdullahi alias Grand Mullah says that through Elmi, communication was established with Wanjala and Ndung’u with a view to channel bribes for a positive and intended outcome in Mohamed’s favour.
He says Elmi met in early January to plan how they would assist Mohamed get a favourable outcome from the Supreme Court.
He says Bardad contacted Elmi using her mobile phone after which Keynan’s driver, Chemoi met with Elmi at Kencom House and they drove towards Yaya Centre to deliver money to Ndung’u’s associates.
Subsequent to the meeting, he adds, Elmi contacted Ndung’u several times, on her personal line and the two spoke.
Ahmednassir says the MP and Wanjala have a personal relationship. They were both in London in April 2018 when they were conferred with Honourary Doctorates by the Commonwealth University, London.
He argues that as a result of the communication, the decision of the Supreme Court leaked and bloggers allied to Mohamed posted the outcome before the judges walked into the Supreme Court, at 14.55 hours on February 15 2019 to deliver judgment.
He notes that Mohamednur Dima under the Facebook pseudonym Amor Mia posted a series of posts detailing the result before Maraga and Wanjala walked in to deliver the judgment of the court.
He cites some of the post as: At 09.23 hrs- “Mwalimu usijali tano yako kamili”, At 14.45 hrs- “Win for Mwalimu”; At 14.51 hrs- “Mwalimu 4 against 2” and at 15.00 hrs- “Maraga and Lenaola are for dissenting voice while the other four
are for contrary”.
The lawyer states that clause 5 (3) of the judicial code of conduct prohibits a judge from initiating or considering ex-parte communications on matters before the court or matters that are likely to be brought before the court.
He adds that pursuant to clause 7 (1) of the judicial code of conduct, propriety and the appearance of propriety are essential to the performance of judicial duties and pursuant to clause 7 (2) of the judicial code of conduct, a judge is obligated to avoid impropriety and the appearance of impropriety in all the judge’s affairs.
Grand Mullah states that during the pendency of proceedings before the Supreme Court, there have been corrupt dealings between Mohamed through others, and some judges.
He says an MP through his personal relationship with Wanjala was the conduit of bribes to the judges.
The lawyer says sometimes in September 2018, an exchange of a Sh75 million bribe took place at Jomo Kenyatta International Airport parking base.
The exchange took place between Sheikh Yunis Ibrahim of Yunis Osman and Mwiti Advocates, and Wanjala.
He adds that Yunis drove to JKIA in a Toyota Land Cruiser V8 vehicle with a box packed with Sh75 million in US dollars in the vehicle trunk.
At the airport, Yunis pulled up alongside a Prado with tinted windows.
The driver of the Prado picked the box of money and took towards the Prado to pass it to the occupant of the vehicle.
On opening the door of the vehicle, Wanjala was seated inside the vehicle.
In early January 2019, he adds, the governor instructed the firm of Abdullahi Gitari and Odhiambo, one of his advocates in Pet 7/2019, to urgently sell a property.
The property was sold for Sh60 million with the vendor being the governor’s son.
The property in question was registered under the government lands Act; N 48 (Vol) Folio No 436/41, File No 422.
Grand Mullah says though the transaction was for sale of land at Sh60 million, the petitioner has information that the money paid was Sh300 million.
He says the purpose of the urgent sale was to raise money for bribes to Supreme Court judges.
During the time this transaction was executed, the delivery of the judgment of the Supreme Court was delayed.
He says once the transaction was completed and money paid to the vendor, a series of money transfers were done by the firm of Abdullahi Gitari and Odhiambo to Mohamed Hassan Mire, Dayib Ali Noor and Yussuf Mohamed Omar, all having local bank accounts.
The transactions done on or about the week of February 4-7 2019 were meant to completely seal the deal, he avers.
He goes on to state that February 11 2019 at between 3-4 pm at a bank in Eastleigh, the governor’s son withdrew Sh15 million which was given to an MP to pass on to Wanjala.
The money was withdrawn from an account of a company associated with the governor’s son.
Ahmednassir states that on February 8, at a local bank, through the account of a law firm that does considerable work for the county government of Wajir and the governor, substantial sums of money were withdrawn for purposes of treating the judges and buying their influence.
Through the above persons, he adds, the proceeds of the sale of land were channeled to Ndung’u and Wanjala to obtain a judgment favourable to the governor.
He avers that Mohamed had been to the Safaricom VIP Centre more than 40 times between mid-January and end of February 2019 to try and tamper with call records and/or erase the trail of communication between parties associated with him and the judges and their associates.
The lawyer points out that in early March, Kheira received a call where the caller threatened to swear an affidavit detailing the corruption and go public unless he received Sh2 million.
This is not the first time the Supreme Court judges are being accused of corruption.