2 withdraw from petition to remove Justice Mohammed Ibrahim
A petitioner who sought the removal of Supreme Court Judge Mohammed Ibrahim over bribery and misconduct has withdrawn his case.
Mr Jared Ongeri filed the first petition against Justices Ibrahim, Jackton Ojwang’, Smokin Wanjala and Njoki Ndung’u at the Judicial Service Commission (JSC).
He communicated his decision to the JSC on March 15, also withdrawing the claims he had made on links between the judge and East African Community Cabinet Secretary Adan Mohamed.
Mr Ongeri has, however, given the JSC a revised list of the telephone numbers of persons of interest, whom he says it can contact through relevant state agencies for verification of his claims.
At the same time, Mohamed Mohamud Sheikh, who also filed a petition against the four judges on behalf of about 700 Wajir residents, has withdrawn himself from the case.
He did not specify the reasons for the withdrawal but stated that he “wishes to wholly, voluntarily and without condition withdraw it for all purposes.
The residents can pursue the case without Mr Mohamud.
Mr Ongeri had promised to avail to the JSC detailed confidential evidence against the four judges through his legal representatives Nchogu, Omwanza & Nyasim Advocates.
Regarding Justice Ibrahim, he had forwarded to the commission information about alleged close relations to CS Mohamed.
The petitioner alleged that Wajir Governor Mohamed Abdi Mohamud and his wife Kheira Omar Bardad were to contact the minister, through a Mr Abdallah Hassan Abdallah aka Siad Pattni.
The CS would eventually reach Justice Ibrahim to influence him to join majority judges in determining the outcome of the governor election appeal at the Supreme Court.
Mr Ongeri had alleged that the minister made contact with Justice Ibrahim and prevailed upon him to change his mind a day before the judgement was delivered.
This, he claimed, influenced the judge to side with the majority in the judgement of February 15, 2019.
The petitioner had promised to lay bare evidence on his claims against Justice Ibrahim and his alleged relations with CS Mohamed.
But he pulled out, saying through his lawyers that, “We withdraw the allegations made vide our letter dated March 11, 2019 against Cabinet Secretary Adan Mohamed. Any reference to Adan Mohamed should thus be deemed withdrawn.”
Mr Mohamud’s election was challenged by former Governor Ahmed Abdullahi and poll loser Ahmed Muhumed Abdi.
The two petitioners had succeeded both the High Court and Court of Appeal in their cases for the removal of Mr Mohamud over his academic qualifications.
They claimed he lacked a university degree, a mandatory requirement governor aspirants.
Mr Mohamud successfully appealed at the Supreme Court and his election was upheld with only Chief Justice David Maraga and Justice Isaack Lenaola dissenting.
Aggrieved by the outcome, Mr Ongeri sought to remove the four judges, alleging bribery and misconduct.
The petitioner had pleaded with the JSC to recommend that President Uhuru Kenyatta appoint a tribunal to hear the bribery and misconduct allegations against Justice Ibrahim with a view to rendering him incompetent to serve as a judge in the apex court.
In their majority decision, the four judges ruled that the governor’s academics issue should have been handled by the Dispute Resolution Committee of the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) or the Political Parties Disputes Tribunal.
Mr Ongeri, however, said the four judges should not have made such a judgement given their many years of post-admission experience as advocates.
“The actions of the named judges cannot be explained away as judicial fullibility/ mistakes. They have, between them, more than 135 years of post-admission experience as advocates. [They have] two PhDs in law, several masters in law and 48 years’ worth of service on the Kenyan bench,” he said.
If the commission allows Mr Ongeri’s plea against Justice Ibrahim, it will be left with the allegations against the three other judges.
Upon receipt of the request to withdraw the claim, Judiciary Chief Registrar and JSC Secretary Ms Anne Amadi it to Justice Ibrahim who is to file a defence by Tuesday against the allegations made against him.
Although the petitioner has withdrawn the allegations against the judge, he has “revised confidential information regarding cell phone numbers of persons who might be of interest [that] he had earlier availed to the JSC to verify with relevant state agencies.”