One of the petitioners in a case seeking Justice Said Chitembwe’s removal from office due to bribery and abuse of office allegations now says the judge sought to bribe him to drop the case.
On November 27, 2021, Stephen Owoko was allegedly approached by a man named Henry Shitanda who introduced himself as an agent of Justice Chitembwe.
In an affidavit, the petitioner claimed Shitanda said he was sent by the judge to withdraw the case that was before the Judicial Service Commission (JSC).
“Mr Shitanda further assured me that the Honarable Justice was ready to facilitate the withdrawal of the petition at a cost,” reads the affidavit filed on January 18.
He was later summoned by the same individual to a meeting at Corner House, where the withdrawal and affidavit drafts had been prepared, and he was urged to call his co-petitioner, but he refused.
Later, the co-petitioner informed him that he had been paid Sh100,000 that they were meant to split, and that he had even given him the money through his company’s Till number, which he returned.
Shitanda then phoned him and told not to honor the JSC summons on December 14, 2021. He did, however, show up.
Owoko stated that he dropped his petition to protect his co-petitioner.
On December 3, 2021, John Wangai and Stephen Owoko, who filed the petition on November 17, withdrew it from the JSC.
The petitioners said they resolved to withdraw the case because the matter had not been handled in accordance with rules of natural justice.
“I wish to confirm that we have no complaint against the honorable Justice Said Chitembwe,” the petitioners said.
“As ardent defenders of the promoting fidelity to the constitution…we have resolved to withdraw the petition.”
Chitembwe is among judges implicated in secretly-recorded videos published by former Nairobi Governor Mike Sonko on social media.
Some of the videos showed the events leading to Sonko’s impeachment and Justice Chitembwe’s alleged involvement in fraudulent dealings in his chambers.