Lawyer’s shock at job interview amid claims of pocketing clients’ money
An advocate seeking to become a judge of the Court of Appeal on Tuesday expressed shock at revelations that he withheld his clients’ money.
Mr Elijah Njagi Ireri, a lecturer and advocate of 28 years, maintained that he was not aware of the matter before the Advocates Complaints Commission, where he was convicted and fined for withholding his clients’ money.
“I am surprised at these allegations. In terms of what has been set out, most of it is not within my knowledge,” he said.
Records presented before the Judicial Service Commission (JSC) showed that four accusations were filed against Mr Ireri.
But the advocate maintained that he only remembered one matter, which he said was settled after he discovered that a cheque he had drawn to the client had not been banked.
“The matter was actually settled. The complaint was withdrawn,” he said.
Asked by Commissioner Emily Ominde why he did not disclose to the JSC when he filled the forms touching on integrity issues, Mr Ireri said, “I have led a clear private and public life. In my mind, I was very clear that I have never been convicted.”
One of the complaints was that he withheld Sh72,000 belonging to Mr Joseph King’ara. The matter was reported to the advocates commission, which convicted him.
In another case, he settled the amount of money in question after a long delay.
The lawyer said he had never had integrity issues and on a scale of 1 to 10, he would rate himself at 9.
He said he has been doing pro bono work for murder suspects and was a board member of several schools.