President Uhuru Kenyatta has finally bowed to pressure and suspended Justice Philip Tonui as a judge of the Supreme Court to pave way for investigations over bribery allegations.
After further consultation, the President through State House Spokesperson Manoah Esipisu, announced on Tuesday that he had also appointed a seven-member tribunal to investigate the conduct of Justice Tunoi.
The tribunal, which will be chaired by Sharad Rao, also constitutes: Judge Roselyn Korir, Justice Jonathan Havelock, Judith Guserwa, James Kaberere Gachoka, Abdirashid Abdullahi Hussein and George Munji Wakukha.
The decision comes a day after State House asserted that Justice Tunoi had a pending retirement case in the Court of Appeal, therefore the President was not in a position to form the panel before the determination of the case.
A letter undersigned by the President's Chief of Staff Joseph Kinyua, highlighted that the High Court had already declared that Tunoi retired as per Article 167 (1), which states: a judge shall retire from the office on attaining the age of seventy years.
Last week, the State House Spokesman had claimed that the Judicial Service Commission had not submitted crucial documents meant to aid in the tribunal's investigations, hence the delay in suspending Tunoi.
The Judicial Service Commission, however, denied the Presidential report saying it had delivered all the required documents - the transmittal letter, petition and a report of the findings of the "Commission on the Allegations of Bribery Against Tunoi".
Judge Tunoi is facing probe on claims that he received a Sh200 Million bribe from Nairobi Governor Evans Kidero to influence the outcome of an election petition filed by his then rival Ferdinand Waititu.
President Kenyatta was required to suspend the Supreme Court Judge within a two week period that elapses Tuesday midnight. According to legal experts, the Head of State would have acted in violation of the Constitution if he failed to meet the two-week deadline.