A member of the Judicial Service Commission has narrated how Deputy Chief Justice Philomena Mwilu (pictured) was arrested.
Tom Ojienda said Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) Noordin Haji and Director of Criminal Investigations (DCI) George Kinoti came to the Supreme Court where the commission was meeting and demanded to see Chief Justice (CJ) David Maraga.
"They went down for the meeting and then requested the DCJ to attend. We knew it was a formal meeting and so we had to hold on a bit. We learnt they had a long session with the DCJ and she would later be arrested.”
Prof Ojienda added; “Unbeknown to us that an arrest would occur in the course of the day. I must say that I have never heard of an arrests taking place within the precincts court. And we had not before then discussed the factual underpinnings on the case touching the case.”
The commissioner who represents lawyers at the JSC, said Director of Public Prosecutions Noordin Haji and Director of Criminal Investigations (DCI) George Kinoti came to the Supreme Court where JSC was meeting and demanded to see the CJ.
“The DPP and the DCI went to the lower boardroom, we were in the upper boardroom, and then they called for the CJ who was then chairing the JSC and the intention was to discuss the matter of the DCJ who is also in the JSC meeting.”
The CJ obliged after a while and went down to meet them as his visitor according to the lawyer who added that Haji and Kinoti were in the company of Deputy DPP Dorcas Oduor.
“So then they went down for the meeting and then requested the DCJ also to attend the meeting. We knew it was a formal meeting and so we had to hold on a bit and in a while we then learnt later they had a long session with the DCJ and she would later be arrested.”
He added; “This only happens in Uganda; it’s only Uganda where I know that the Supreme was invaded and arrests made.”
Speaking during a 9 pm interview with KTN’s Sophia Wanuna on Sunday evening, Ojienda faulted the manner in which the whole saga has been handled by hajji and Kinoti.
“In my view the issues in question; we have a process and we often have jurisdiction over question touching misconduct of judges and other conduct under article 168 of the constitution that will lead to removal from office, we would have expected that if the issues touched on incompetence or misconduct that would have been referred to JSC.”
He added “This matter, I cannot go into the merits because of subjudice, but we had expected that where it was matter that involved other form of conduct other than straight criminal conduct, we could have dealt with them but we did not have neither complaint, a reference or any sort of knowledge within us at a time the arrest happened.”
“The charge sheet refers to 2013/14. The DCJ was appointed in October 2016 after the public was invited to give views. If it was within the knowledge of any person should have been brought to bear with JSC and parliament. We were not seized of any of the matters.”
Asked of the CJ did inform the commission of the happenings in the meeting with the DPP and DCI, Prof Ojienda said they were not briefed.
“We just saw the news alert like everyone else. We do not know what transpired and what events led to the arrest,” he said adding that he wouldn’t wish to discuss the matter further so as not to jeopardize the commission’s objectivity should the case be referred to them.