- 1 of 2
DEPUTY Chief Justice Nancy Baraza yesterday answered a question whether she would resign by wagging her finger and remaining silent. Journalists met Baraza as she emerged from being interviewed by the Judicial Service Commission probe team at the Supreme Court into the incident on New Year’s Eve when she allegedly threatened a guard at Village Market with a gun.
The guard Rebecca Kerubo Morara yesterday insisted that the judge should be charged. “I want her to be charged. I do not want an out of court settlement,” said Kerubo after being questioned by JSC sub-committee. Kerubo and Baraza were each questioned for an hour each. Kerubo appeared first before the committee which is chaired by the Reverend Samuel Kobia.
Kerubo was accompanied by her husband Bernard Morara, two lawyers and a fellow security guard. She entered the chamber at 3.15pm and left an hour later. Justice Baraza, who was waiting in an adjacent room, walked in immediately after Kerubo. She was accompanied by a woman who was not immediately identified but who did not enter the room where the committee was holding its session.
Emerging an hour later, Baraza resolutely refused to answer questions from journalists. “If I was the one who threatened the deputy chief justice I would have been in Kamiti by now. Let the matter go to court, the same way a common mwananchi would be taken to court,” said Kerubo who is represented by Kangata Irungu.
On Monday evening, Commissioner Matthew Iteere said that police have already forwarded their investigation file to the Director of Public Prosecution office recommending that Baraza be charged with illegal possession of a firearm, threatening to kill and assault. Yesterday JSC was not able to interview Kerubo’s fellow security guard Tony Makhanu or her husband due to time constraints. The two are expected to be interviewed today.
Kerubo told the JSC that Baraza walked past the security check ignoring other customers queuing to be screened. Kerubo said she had to run after the deputy CJ to request her to be screened but Baraza refused her request and instead tweaked her nose. “She pinched me saying “you should know big people” and walked away,” Kerubo said.
She said that Baraza then walked back and engaged her in an argument after which she allegedly ordered her bodyguard to shoot Kerubo. When the guard refused, Baraza walked to her car and came back with a pistol and allegedly threatened Kerubo.
However last night Kerubo was scheduled to meet Baraza in a five star Nairobi hotel in the company of her lawyer after pleas from two women leaders from Nyanza. The two women, who identified themselves as Kisii leaders, and who have been talking to her in Ekigusii, first visited her Gachie home on Sunday night and again on Monday night.
Kerubo’s lawyer reportedly visited her home and offered to represent her without payment (pro bono) after being informed that she did not have a lawyer. The two women showed up after the first emissary visited her with shopping on Friday last week. She never returned after the Star published her picture getting out of a black Mercedes Benz.
Kerubo yesterday said she was willing to forgive the judge as long as it would not be used against her. “Two women have been coming to my house to plead with me to meet her and I agreed yesterday. They left some money for me to take a taxi to town where I am scheduled to meet her. This is draining all my energies. I have never been in court before and now I am being asked to appear before the committee,” Kerubo said yesterday afternoon.
Yesterday morning the JSC sub committee toured Village Market to review the CCTV footage. The team arrived at Village Market in a government vehicle at about 10.40am. They were quickly ushered into an office where they spent an hour interviewing the chief security officer and Village Market Managing Director Hamet Ehsani. They were then led to the entrance where Kerubo claimed Baraza pinched her nose and threatened her with a gun.
Four CCTV cameras, including one in the corridor leading to Belladonna Pharmacy, another in the pharmacy itself, and two at the entrance facing the parking lot are believed to have captured the drama. The team entered the pharmacy before going back to the management office to review the CCTV footage at the control room for another hour.
The JSC sub-committee includes lawyer Ahmednasir Abdullahi, lawyer Florence Mwangangi, law professor Christine Mango, commissioner Titus Gatere, chief magistrate Emily Ominde, Justice Isaac Lenaola, and Chief Registrar Gladys Shollei.