New report by Judiciary Observation Institute (JOI) shows judge Evans Kiago Makori who was rejected by Uhuru received Ksh 6.5 million bribe from Al-Shabaab.
President Uhuru’s decision not to appoint six judges to the Court of Appeal and Lands and Environment Court has faced severe criticisms.
Uhuru rejected the nomination of six judges who had been recommended by the Judicial Service Commission (JSC) for appointment.
The president appointed 34 out of the 40 recommended judges, he said that the 6 nominees he rejected had integrity issues that had been detailed by the National Intelligence Service (NIS) and other security agencies.
Uhuru raised a furore over his decision to decline to appoint High Court Judges Joel Ngugi, George Odunga, Aggrey Muchelule and Weldon Korir to the Court of Appeal. And Judith Omange and Evans Makori as judges in the Lands and Environment Court.
Odunga and Ngugi are among the five-bench judge that termed the Constitutional Amendment Bill 2020 (BBI) as unconstitutional.
Makori Evans Kiago has been serving as the Chief Magistrate at the judiciary since 2014 to date, and Judith Elizabeth Omange Cheruiyot is currently serving as Registrar High Court.
Judiciary Observation Institute (JOI) has revealed that the reason why Kiago’s appointment was rejected is based on solid information that he accepted a bribe from the Al-Shabaab terrorist organization.
JOI report indicates that Kiago in October 2018, while serving as Chief Magistrate in Mombasa, acquitted three women from Mandera who had volunteered to be Jihad brides for Al-Shabaab fighters in Somalia.
The women – Ummulkheir Sadri Abdalla, Khadija Abibakar Abdulkadir, Maryam Said Aboud and Halima Adan Ali were arrested by Kenyan security forces as they attempted to cross the border into Somalia at Elwak.
JOI report indicates that evidence shows Kiago received Ksh 6.5 million from an Al-Shabaab intermediary to release the women.
In acquitting the Jihad brides, Kiago said there was no evidence linking the women to the crime they were accused of – intentions of being Jihad brides.
Although the women were found with phones that had communicated with unknown numbers that Kiago said they were not evidence that the women were linked to terrorists
As for the literature the ladies were found with, Kiago said there was no evidence that the literature belonged to Al-Shabaab.
After their acquittal, state prosecutor Eugene Wangila sought an order for their Ksh 500,000 bond not to be released in order to bind them during appeal but the order that was flatly released by the magistrate overruled the application.
JOI also indicated that Kiago had accepted bribes on numerous occasions, saying that the judge is extremely wealthy as a result of receiving bribes in exchange for favorable judgements by tycoons in Mombasa.
The bribes are collected on his behalf by orderlies and other junior public servants as the judge plays safe not to be caught while receiving bribes.
JOI also pointed out that there have been numerous omissions, errors and incongruities in Kiago’s wealth declaration forms.
JOI further indicated that if Judiciary Service Commission (JSC) does not act on the information it already has, it is likely that the matter will end up in court where it might be heard by one of the judges in the corruption cartel.
JOI concludes its report by calling on Kiago to be prosecuted for bribery, abetting terrorism and for other charges as well.