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DCJ Mwilu Day In Court, Fate Hangs On The Balance

 

Deputy Chief Justice Philomena Mwilu is back in Milimani Law Courts following the expiry of orders that were issued by High court Judge Chacha Mwita, barring her prosecution by the Magistrate court.

Justice Mwilu wants the case against her postponed until the case to deny the accusations are heard and determined.

The Director of Public Prosecutions Noordin Haji is seeking the removal of the DCJ from office. His office wants the court to give the criminal proceeding on the removal of the judge from office according to 168/ 187 article of the constitution.

Haji argues that as it is now, impression that Justice Mwilu is ”above the law” is created, hence the need for legal clarification.

The Public Prosecution team is pushing for the formation of a three-judge, that will determine whether the Judicial Service Commission or an anti-corruption court merits the jurisdiction of hearing the case.

Through its lawyer Mr Ken Ogeto, the Office of Public Prosecutions argues that the court ought to give a ruling on both the formation of the three-judge bench and jurisdiction of hearing. The team has been given 15 minutes to make a submission.

Justice Mwilu was arraigned before Senior Magistrate Lawrence Mugambi on August 28, where she faced charges of forgery, corruption and failing to pay taxes.

She was released Sh5 million bond on which she was ordered to appear in court the following day with her co-accused the following day.

A charge sheet from the Director of Criminal Investigations George Kinoti stated that DCJ Mwilu faced charges namely: “Obtaining execution of a security belonging to Imperial Bank Limited by false pretence. Abusing her office for personal gain. Accepting a gift in the form of money in circumstances which undermined public confidence in the integrity of her office. Unlawful failure to pay taxes. Conducting herself in disregard of the law.”

According to the charge sheet seen by Standard Digital, she obtained Sh12 million between August 15, 2013 and October 23, 2015 from the bank headquarters in Nairobi.

The charge sheet said she influenced the manager of the bank to surrender to her two titles at the bank to obtain a Sh60 million loan. Another on tax evasion indicated that she failed to pay Sh3.1 million stamp duty for property she bought and forged a KRA stamp duty papers.

With the expiry of stay orders barring her prosecution set for October 9, the Director of Prosecutions Noordin Haji is seeking an establishment of a three-judge bench

Her lawyers who promised a legal battle pointed that state’s decision to charge her over matters that happened five years ago, is a ploy to hound her out of office and has nothing to do with fighting graft.

DCJ Mwilu was represented by a battery of 18 lawyers, including senior counsel James Orengo, John Khaminwa, Okong’o Omogeni, Daniel Maanzo, Millie Odhiambo, Peter Kaluma, Anthony Oluoch and Mutula Kilonzo Jnr.

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