Activists want Rao dropped from tribunal

Friday March 4 2016

Mr Sharad Rao, the chairman of a tribunal that

Mr Sharad Rao, the chairman of a tribunal that will investigate the conduct of Justice Philip Tunoi, addresses journalists after he was sworn in at the Supreme Court on March 2, 2016. PHOTO | ROBERT NGUGI | NATION MEDIA GROUP 

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A tribunal formed to investigate bribery claims against Supreme Court Judge Philip Tunoi could be scuttled following an application challenging the suitability of its chairman.

Activists Okiya Omtatah and Wycliffe Nyakina argued that the chairman, Mr Sharad Rao, is not qualified to head the tribunal.

They are seeking an order suspending the tribunal’s work until the petition is heard and determined.

“The President and the Attorney- General violated the Constitution by appointing a person who is not qualified to head a tribunal to investigate a judge. Mr Rao also violated the Constitution by accepting the appointment when he knows his age does not allow him to be the chairman,” said Mr Omtatah.

He argued that Mr Rao, 80, does not meet the requirements of the Constitution, which states that a tribunal shall consist of a chairperson and three other members from among individuals who hold or have held office as judge of a superior court, or who are qualified to be appointed as such.

The petitioners said Mr Rao is not a judge of a superior court and has never been a judge, and is not qualified to be appointed a judge.