Cohen death: Judicial Service Commission asked to probe judge
An activist has petitioned the Judicial Service Commission (JSC) to investigate Court of Appeal judge Sankale ole Kantai and remove him from office.
In the petition filed yesterday, Okiya Omtatah is asking the commission to probe the judge over Dutch tycoon Tob Cohen’s murder saga.
“The Judicial Service Commission be pleased to initiate the necessary procedures for the removal of Hon. Justice Sankale ole Kantai for breach of the oath of office and gross misconduct and/or misbehaviour incompatible with the status of a Judge of the Court of Appeal of Kenya,” reads the petition.
Omtatah says that the revelation that the judge fraudulently transferred shares of the late Silas Ita’s share in Tobs Limited to himself on April 29, 1999, and that he later transferred the same share to Sarah Wairimu Kamotho on May 2, 2002 was serious allegation amounting to gross misconduct.
“The actions of the learned judge amount to gross misconduct and misbehaviour to the extent that it constitutes the failure of the learned judge to uphold the rule of law, both while in private practice as an Advocate of the High Court of Kenya, and now as a Judge of the Court of Appeal,” Omtatah argues.
Omtatah claims the affidavit filed by the Directorate of Criminal Investigations in the High court had demonstrated that Sankale obstructed police investigations into the murder of Cohen by, among other actions, editing or rewriting Wairimu’s statement to the police regarding the disappearance of Cohen and facilitating her preferential treatment by the courts.
“The actions of the learned Judge constitute a subversion and defilement of the Constitution, a threat to the rule of law and constitutional order and is in a breach of the oath of office the learned Judge took to protect, administer and defend the Constitution with a view to upholding the dignity and respect for the Judiciary and the judicial system of Kenya,” Omtatah says.
Last week, the judge obtained orders stopping Inspector General of police Hillary Mutyambai and the Director of Criminal Investigations George Kinoti from arresting or charging him over the death of the Dutch businessman.
A replying affidavit filed at the High Court by Kinoti, through John Gachomo, a senior assistant Inspector General of Police, claims Sankale fully participated in Cohen’s murder by helping Wairimu to cover up.
JSC is now expected to give directions on the matter.