Sonko leaks: Chief Justice Martha Koome says JSC to discuss way forward

Chief Justice Martha Koome says the Judicial Service Commission will meet to discuss the way forward. [File, Standard]

Chief Justice Martha Koome has responded to allegations of corruption and malpractice made against Justice Said Chitembwe.

In a statement to The Standard, Justice Koome said that the judiciary was aware of the allegations and a probe into the allegations would be launched.

She added that she had taken judicial notice of what has been reported in the media and that the Judicial Service Commission (JSC) is seized of the matter.

"The Commission will meet to deliberate on the issue according to its constitution and statutory set procedures,” Koome told The Standard.

She said the removal of a judge may be initiated only by the JSC on its own motion, or on a petition filed by anyone to the commission.

“Article 168(b) of the Constitution makes provision for removal of a judge of a superior court on account of a breach of the code of conduct prescribed for judges of the superior courts by an Act of Parliament,” she said.

Early this week, viral videos posted by a Nairobi politician raised questions on the integrity of the judge about a land matter being investigated by the Directorate of Criminal Investigation (DCI).

In his defence, Justice Chitembwe downplayed the videos making rounds on social media describing them as ‘edited and manipulated to fit a specific narrative’ and that the land in question was owned by former Nairobi Governor Mike Sonko.

“I have no problem. Let the videos go round because they are edited to fit a particular narrative. Some parts have been left. I knew about the existence of the videos in July and it was just a matter of when they would be out,” Chitembwe told The Standard yesterday.