Governor Kidero denies meeting Supreme Court Judge Tunoi
Nairobi Governor Evans Kidero on Monday denied he was present at a petrol station on Waiyaki Way, where a Sh200 million bribe was allegedly given to Judge Phillip Tunoi.
The governor said he was at home on the day he is alleged to have given the judge the money to rule in his favour an election petition filed by his opponent, Mr Ferdinand Waititu.
He told a tribunal investigating the Supreme Court judge that he was at home in Muthaiga, on August 27, 2014, when he is alleged to have handed over the cash.
The bribery allegation was untrue because he was confident he had a strong case against Mr Waititu, whose case he claimed had been weakened by the fact that the petition was filed after the stipulated 30 days following the 2013 elections.
“Waititu had filed the case after 73 days since he was unhappy with the election outcome but I lost at the High Court, and, therefore, appealed, knowing I had a strong case since the petition was filed late,” said Dr Kidero.
He said he had never met Mr Geoffrey Kiplagat, the journalist who claims to have acted as the middleman between him and the judge, nor was he aware of efforts by his personal assistant, Mr John Osogo or businessman Mike Njeru to get him a job at the county.
He denied ever seeing Mr Kiplagat in his office alone or accompanied by Mr Njeru or Mr Osogo, adding that he was good at remembering faces.
Dr Kidero said he was not keen on what his assistant did in his personal life and that he wouldn’t have known if he had been in touch with Mr Kiplagat.
He denied ever getting close to Judge Tunoi or shaking his hand, saying the Sh200 million bribe allegation was outrageous.
Asked when he first heard about it, the governor said Mr Osogo had mentioned it to him in 2014 and that he had ignored it since he was used to dealing with rumours, having worked in the media.
Detective Monica Wambui also testified that the alleged petrol station meeting did not take place since the said parties were not at the location at the time, according to mobile phone location records.
Ms Wambui said she used mobile data to determine if the people said to have witnessed the bribery were at the said location.
Those alleged to have witnessed the bribery are lawyer Katwa Kigen, businessman Kiprop Chirchir, Mr Kiplagat and Dr Kidero.
But Ms Wambui said the phone records did not capture one of Mr Kiplagat’s mobile phones, while his second showed he was at the National Housing Corporation’s Madaraka Estate in Nairobi West.
Mr Kigen was at St Elis in the Central Business District, at 7pm and at 9pm, he was at Menelik Hospital in Kilimani, while Mr Chirchir was at Woodley Estate and Dr Kidero at his home in Muthaiga. Judge Tunoi was in Kileleshwa at the time the bribery is said to have taken place.
The detective said the data also showed that Mr Kiplagat, Mr Kigen and Mr Chirchir were not at the same place on the day and time they were supposed to have had lunch at Lonhro House.
The detective said Mr Kiplagat had sent nine text messages to Judge Tunoi while the judge had only sent two.
The records had shown that no voice calls took place between the two.
Safaricom head of projects Shaka Kwach told the tribunal that the company does not keep contents of text messages nor does it keep a record of calls.
Mr Kiplagat will appear before the tribunal on Tuesday.