The jailing of Directorate of Criminal Investigations boss George Kinoti is seen from certain quarters as part of a wider scheme by Court of Appeal and High Court judges in cahoots with prominent lawyers to hit back at Kinoti for arresting some of them over graft.
The idea is to scare institutions that have the powers, influence and control over the operations within the Judiciary to shy off and thus allow the rampant graft in the judiciary to proceed unabated.
What Kinoti failed to understans was,when he arrested Deputy Chief Justice Philomena Mwilu,he had stepped on wrong toes of the cartel that also has lawyers commonly reffered to as the Karen gang.
They were grooming Mwilu to succeed then Chief Justice David Maraga.The arrest and prosecution blocked the gang ill motives.They were forced to start marketing lawyer Fred Ngatia as Maraga successor.The emergency of Martha Koome on the scene caught them unawares.For them,Chief Justice Koome is a state project being used to have Judicial Service Commission (JSC) fix Mwilu and force her retire from the office to avoid embarrasment.
By fronting Ngatia, the cartel were out to portray him as state house favoured face by virtue of having been president Uhuru Kenyatta lawyer at Supreme Court presidential petition.
Infact,word has it,Ngatia link with the cartel costed him dearly.It is not only Koome and Kinoti the cartel has marked. It was to be business as usual with Mwilu or Ngatia at helm.
Sources say,the most lucrative court is that of Appeal hence the current happpenings on the blocked appointments by Uhuru Kenyatta.
The first target is president Uhuru Kenyatta who has no kind words for Kenyan judiciary. Uhuru has seen most of his directives being overturned by judges putting the offices of his legal advisers into question as to whether they are up to the game or just victims of the supremacy war between the executive and judiciary. The war between Uhuru and judges got ugly during the Building Bridges Initiative Court of Appeal ruling that gave window for the arrest of Uhuru in near future for having acted unconstitutionally.
In the judgment, the Court of Appeal was heavily critical to Uhuru stating that the BBI Bill was unconstitutional and usurped the people’s sovereign power.
The seven-judge bench also issued a permanent injunction against Independent and Electoral Boundaries Commission from going ahead with the the BBl or subjecting it to a referendum. The Bill had already been approved by parliament.
The judges also upheld the High Court’s finding that the president has no authority to promote amendment of the constitution through a popular initiative and that he can be sued with respect to his actions or omissions in the constitution. Those in the know claim, the Court of Appeal judges with the input of well known lawyers wanted to hold Uhuru at ransom by the ruling the head of state can be sued the moment he retires as president.
Keen observers will also agree, in Kinoti ruling, the issue of being jailed once his tenure at DCI ends was was also cleverly inserted.
As Uhuru was nursing wounds from the BBI ruling, another shock was awaiting him a move that saw Court of Appeal temporarily suspended an order directing him to swear in six judges within two weeks.
Justices Roselyn Nambuye, Wanjiru Karanja and Imaana Laibuta granted the orders after the president rushed to the appellate court on grounds, there is an eminent danger of embarrassment and uncertainty in the dispensation of justice, if the directive remains unchallenged. The word embarrassment in the petition speaks volumes.
The president’s move came after a bench of three judges of the High Court gave Uhuru two weeks to swear in the judges, failure to which they will assume the positions after being sworn in by Chief Justice Martha Koome.
The six judges left out when Uhuru appointed 34 others are High Court judges Aggrey Muchelule, George Odunga, Weldon Korir and Joel Ngugi. The four had been recommended by Judicial Service Commission to join the appellate court.
Uhuru also left out chief magistrate Evans Makori and High Court registrar Judith Omange, who were recommended to be judges of the Labour Court.
Uhuru’s move to decline to swear them is said to have been based on intelligence briefs on matters relating to corruption.Those we talked to revealed, the rot in the Judiciary has gained grounds but rotates around a section of well connected traditional judges that have links with powerful lawyers.They have been on the bench for years.
The truth of the matter is, not all judges are corrupt but just a few rotten ones that are tainting its image.They have influence at JSC and are untouchables.JSC is as per now a touthless dog which cannot bite as Judges run to courts to block discplinary actions.The said Judges petitions suprisinlgy land in hands for friendly faces.
Kinoti’s other troubles was when he arrested justices Juma Chitembwe and Aggrey Muchelule over a Sh6.3 million bribe and abuse of office.
The two swiftly moved to High Court and Justice James Makau gave orders on July 23 2021 stopping their prosecution. The orders are to remain in force up to February 21 2022 when a case filed by the Kenya Judges and Magistrates Association will be mentioned for directions on hearing.
KJMA secretary-general is Derrick Kuto with LSK president Nelson Havi.
The detectives alleged that they had information the judges had received bribes from some brokers with the intention of obtaining favourable judgments, and that the money was stored in their chambers.
During the raid, police found $50,000 in the chamber of Justice Muchelule and $7,000 was recovered from Justice Chitembwe.
DCI received intelligence on July 21 at 3pm that after a series of meetings between certain judges and the brokers a Sh7 million bribe had been agreed upon and it was to be delivered to the residence of a judge at 7pm.
The DCI further claims that $50,000 was seized from a woman who was in Justice Muchelule’s Chamber 230 during the search, and $7,000 was seized from Justice Chitembwe who is alleged to have facilitated the meeting.
Justice Muchelule was on his way to deliver pending judgments, while Justice Chitembwe was attending to a law student when detectives stormed their offices that are just a wall apart and arrested them.
Judge Chitembwe however admits that he was found with $7,000 in his pocket which he says was meant for payment of school fees of his son who is studying at Edith Cowan University, Perth Australia. Questions are being asked why the judge did not transfer the said money to the son’s account but decided to walk around with it in his office.
Chitembwe family operates a foreign currency account under his wife’s name.
Detectives searched both offices before taking them to the DCI headquarters for questioning.
There is talk among lawyers that some of their colleagues cannot win any case in court without bribing. The said lawyers are now at the forefront of defending judges implicated in corruption.
Kinoti was dealt a blow after the High Court declined to set aside the four-month prison sentence imposed on him for disobeying a court order requiring him to surrender firearms belonging to controversial businessman Jimi Wanjigi.
Justice Antony Mrima ruled the orders he made on November 18 for Kinoti to present himself to prison should be complied with.
Kinoti had through lawyer Cecil Miller asked the court to set aside the sentence on grounds that he was wrongly enjoined in the case as he was not in possession of the firearms in question.
An attempt by Attorney General Kihara Kariuki to quash the imprisonment also failed.
Also on Kinoti’s radar is Court of Appeal judge Sankale ole Kantai who is accused of participating in the planning and cover up of the murder of Dutch national Tob Cohen.
The judge is said to have had sexual escapades with Cohen’s wife, Sarah Wairimu, who is the main suspect in the murder.
Insiders revealed that the judges have teamed up with prominent lawyers to ensure Kinoti is jailed for arresting their colleagues.
For Mwilu, she is bitter with Kinoti for leading her arrest at the Supreme Court where she was then taken to DCI headquarters for questioning over graft.
After the arrest, Mwilu was escorted by Kinoti to the DCI headquarters.
Mwilu was accused of obtaining execution of a security belonging to Imperial Bank Limited by false pretense and unlawfully failing to pay taxes.
Mwilu closed irregular property deals worth Sh315 million with the collapsed Imperial Bank.
Justice Mwilu secured all these multimillion loan dealings just three months before Imperial Bank was put on receivership.
Imperial Bank was placed under receivership in October 2015, after its board alerted Capital Markets Authorities of suspected malpractices.
She acquired properties through backdoor deals that have now been linked to tax evasion by DPP’s prosecution team.
Mwilu sold the three parcels of land for Sh315 million in suspicious deals made between March 2016 and July 2016.
She also failed to pay stamp duty of 4pc on value of the land she had bought via Imperial Bank between December 2014 and March 2016 for Sh160 million.
Justice Mwilu’s Sh132 million loans were granted interest free without written applications.
Justice Mwilu did not appraise her creditworthiness for interest free loans that were granted using letters with Judiciary letters head.
Justice Mwilu also fraudulently recovered securities of the said loans and sold them at a profit that directly led to losses of Sh60 million at the collapsed Imperial Bank.
This has been proven without doubt that Mwilu used her position at the Judicial office to improperly enrich herself.
Justice Mwilu bought two plots in Nairobi for Sh80 million in December 2014; plot ref number 3734/202 and plot ref number 3734/209. It has also been revealed that Justice Mwilu took another short-term loan of Sh60 million for purchase of half-acre property registered under 3734/1129.
This is coming at a time when three appellate judges had just overturned a decision of the High Court barring the CMA from investigating circumstances under which Imperial Bank proceeded with a bond despite insider knowledge it was at the collapsing edge.
To complicate matters, Mwilu’s case was to land before a three-judge bench of the Constitutional Court. The court has been asked to dismiss a case by Mwilu because she is trying to defeat justice by not appearing before the Judicial Service Commission.
Justice Mwilu had filed a case before the court to stop the JSC from hearing four disciplinary cases against her. The case is being heard by Chitembwe, Roselyne Aburili and Weldon Korir.
Lawyers Lynn Nyangweso and Charles Kanjama argue the DCJ failed to exhaust all the available mechanisms of dispute resolution before approaching the court.
According to the two lawyers, Justice Mwilu ought to have let the proceedings before the JSC be completed before she could approach the court for remedy.
Justice Mwilu’s application before the JSC for recusal of commissioners Kihara Kariuki and Macharia Njeru was heard and dismissed.
Two JSC commissioners are said to have found after weighing evidence that the application for their recusal lacked merit and declined to step aside from hearing disciplinary proceedings against Justice Mwilu.
The two also questioned why Justice Mwilu took a year and one month to challenge proceedings before the JSC even when she knew there was a time limit of six months within which such action ought to be taken.
The JSC had been temporarily stopped from conducting disciplinary proceedings against Mwilu, who is one of its members.
But she rushed to the High Court which declared she would not be prosecuted as the evidence by the DCI was illegally obtained.
The five-judge bench quashed the criminal case on that ground.
The bench said the DCI violated Mwilu’s right to privacy by the manner in which it obtained its evidence by accessing her IBL accounts.
Mwilu was represented by Havi while Justices William Musyoki, Mumbi Ngugi, Hellen Omondi, Francis Tuiyott and Chacha Mwita made the ruling.
At the moment, the Director of Public Prosecutions Noordin Haji is fighting orders barring disciplinary proceedings against Mwilu.
Haji is challenging the order issued by High Court judge Weldon Korir on August 17 after a successful application by Mwilu that stopped the Judicial Service Commission from instituting disciplinary proceedings against her.
Back to Justice Kantai case, he was linked to Cohen’s murder by a senior detective attached to DCI identified as John Gachomo.
Gachomo stated the judge held several secret meetings with Sarah Wairimu, who was the wife to the late Cohen.
They met in various places, dates and locations where they planned the murder of Cohen whose body was found inside his compound in Kitusuru Estate.
Gachomo, who is a senior assistant Inspector General of Police based at the DCI headquarters, claimed Judge Kantai fully participated in the murder.
In court documents, the DCI also blamed the office of the Director of Public Prosecution for trying to terminate the investigation with the aim of not charging the judge.
In a move aimed at proving why DCI believed that Kantai was part of the scheme, Gachomo said the judge fraudulently transferred shares of a company that was being run by Cohen from Silas Itas before eventually transferring them to Wairimu.
He said Cohen could later be killed two days after the fraudulent transfer was discovered.
“Cohen was murdered barely two days after the discovery of the fraudulent transfer involving the petitioner and Wairimu. The discovery of the fraud is the motive of Cohen’s death,” the documents filed in court read in part.
Gachomo also said the DCI had established that the judge heightened his communication with Wairimu who is the main suspect in the murder of Cohen.
In his argument, Kantai had filed a petition saying he was in good terms with Cohen who was his client and close confidant to an extent of entrusting him with his investment.
However, DCI believes at no point did Cohen agree that Kantai should have shares of his company.
Detectives also believe that Wairimu was the judge’s mistress, a relationship they had even before Cohen passed on.
Cohen was murdered on either July 19 2020 and his body hidden in a septic tank within his compound until it was discovered by detectives.
Insiders added that the cartel has made justice for sale to the highest bidder.
To execute the scheme, the prominent lawyers engage in what is called Forum Shopping, a colloquial term for the practice of litigants having their legal cases heard by a friendly judge who will most likely rule in favour of their clients.
Insiders revealed that the game plan is to hide material facts in courts to either secure conviction or freedom of the suspects represented by the said lawyers.
For instance in the Kinoti case, Wanjigi in his petition failed to disclose to the court that the Firearm Licensing Board is the body that keeps custody of guns for civilians and that once such guns are seized, they can only be got from them and not DCI headquarters.
Already, the ministry of Interior and Coordination of National Government has written to Wanjigi requiring him to present himself to the FLB to get his firearms back.
The ministry acknowledged receipt of a court order Wanjigi attached in his letter demanding to be given the dangerous firearms.
But it noted that the board is an independent body mandated by constitution to deal with licensing of firearms to the civilian.
The ministry noted that it is the mandate of the board to issue firearms to civilians, noting that the matter was litigated in court in the absence of the board which could have helped the court to arrive at a reasonable determination.
It noted that the National Police Service does not store firearms or keep and or deal with civilian firearms as alleged in the Petition 520 of 2017 filed by Wanjigi.
“We find this mischievous, from now henceforth kindly consider dealing with the board directly,” the letter signed by Daniel Seme, states.
It is also emerging that Wanjigi attempted to bribe a Jubilee activist Mike Makarina with Sh5 million to trap Kinoti and subsequently have him jailed.
The activist, who is also chairman of Person Living with Disabilities in Meru county, is on record claiming he was promised Sh5 million to hide documents in order to put Kinoti behind bars.
The developments come amidst a petition filed at the Judicial Review Division seeking to compel Kinoti to arrest Wanjigi for being in possession of illegal firearms and ammunition.
According to documents filed in court, Memba Ocharo argues Wanjigi’s conduct has previously been questionable hence he should not be allowed to possess the firearms.
Through lawyer Danstan Omari, Ocharo says Wanjigi is a former Inspector of Police and was stripped of all his police powers and ordered to surrender all his firearms and ammunition in his custody following numerous incidents and complaints about his misuse of firearms.
The petitioner claims long after Wanjigi was dismissed from employment with the Police Service for misuse of firearms in threatening and intimidating members of the public, he has nonetheless been a licensed firearms holder until January 30, 2018, when the firearm licensing board revoked his firearms’ certificate.The question is,will Koome manage the pressure from the gang and survive.Remember Ahmed Nasir and Maraga bitter court wars.
There's no story that cannot be told. We cover the stories that others don't want to be told, we bring you all the news you need. If you have tips, exposes or any story you need to be told bluntly and all queries write to us [email protected] also find us on Telegram