Supreme Court Judge Mohammed Ibrahim is under investigation for threatening to shoot a security guard at his house in Spring Valley, Nairobi, in the wee hours of Thursday morning.
A security guard from Rans Security and the director of the company recorded the complaint at the Spring Valley Police Station at 4.45am on Thursday. They alleged that the judge lost his temper during a disagreement and brandished a gun before chasing them away.
The matter was filed under OB number 03/21/3/2019 by Mr Ronald Ayiera, the owner and director of Rans Security Services, and Mr Charles Onguso, a guard at the company.
Police confirmed that the matter had been reported to them, but refused to disclose any details.
“This is something that happened in someone’s house, but people are running around causing journalists to swarm me with questions, yet we don’t know if it is true yet,” Mr Richard Muguai, the Gigiri OCPD, told the Nation. “Once we know exactly what happened, we will call you and let you know.”
However, Rans Security Services lawyer Kennedy Nyambega said Mr Ibrahim had phoned the company’s director around midnight demanding that the guard assigned to his house be changed immediately. Mr Ibrahim sounded furious, he added.
“The director had to wake up and look for another guard, whom he took to the house.” They arrived around 4am, Mr Nyambega said.
“By the time the two got there, the judge was very angry. During the shouting, he whipped out a pistol and chased them away.”
Justice Ibrahim agreed that there was a disagreement, but denied brandishing a gun at anyone.
“I don’t even have a firearm licence, and neither do I own a gun,” he told the Nation. “I believe that it’s out of that exchange that the supervisor thought I was threatening him and went to file a report with the police. I have no reason at all to threaten a watchman. I have no gun and I have never had one.”
But Mr Nyambega disputed Justice Ibrahim’s version of happenings, saying, his client would not rush to a police station at night without a valid reason.
“Someone cannot be mad to record a statement at 4am. These are security guards and they know what a gun looks like. Ask the judge if his house was under any private security at night, and if not, why?” he said.
Sources at the National Police Service have told the Nation that the matter has been referred to the Directorate of Criminal Investigations Office (DCIO) in Gigiri since the officers in Spring Valley felt it was too big for them to handle.
Should he be found culpable, Justice Ibrahim’s could lose his job.
In 2012, Deputy Chief Justice Nancy Baraza, was faced with removal from office for assaulting security guard Rebecca Kerubo at the Village Market shopping mall in Nairobi.
The tribunal investigating the incident cited “gross misconduct and misbehaviour”.
Chief Justice Augustino Ramadhani, who chaired the tribunal, said Ms Baraza’s behaviour during the New Year’s Day incident showed “inability to control her behaviour”.
The DCJ opted for early retirement instead of facing the tribunal.
The allegation about Justice Ibrahim comes at a time when Supreme Court judges, including him, are fighting for their jobs on allegations of misconduct, with six petitions filed in the past two weeks, seeking their removal on allegations that include bribery.
Two weeks ago, the losers in the Wajir governorship election petition, Mr Ahmed Abdullahi and Mr Ahmed Muhumed Abdi, asked the Judicial Service Commission to investigate the conduct of judges Jackton Ojwang, Mohammed Ibrahim, Smokin Wanjala and Njoki Ndung’u.
Additional reporting by Richard Munguti