Court locks out Fida, lawyer Kamotho out of DCJ Mwilu's case

Deputy Chief Justice Philomena Mwilu and lawyer Cliff Ombeta on August 31, 2018 in court. [File,Standard]
The High Court has locked out a lawyers’ lobby group from the case against Deputy Chief Justice Philomena Mwilu.

While dismissing the application by the Federation of Women Lawyers (Fida), justices Hellen Omondi, Mumbi Ngugi, Chacha Mwita, Francis Tuiyott and William Musyoka declared that it had not proved any interest in the case.

The judges observed that Fida had raised new issues in the case against the DCJ.

Application dismissed

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The court also dismissed activist-cum-lawyer Adrian Kamotho’s application seeking to be enjoined in the case, saying he had not given compelling reasons.

Mr Kamotho was among the people who had filed petitions to have Justice Mwilu kicked out, but in a change of heart he now sides with her in a bid to block charges brought against her by Director of Public Prosecutions Noordin Haji.

However, the court allowed the International Commission of Jurists (ICJ) to join the case as a friend of the court, saying that it was a neutral voice.

The Government wanted the three to be thrown out.

Mentioned in case

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The DPP and Attorney General Kihara Kariuki in separate submissions before the High Court yesterday cited bias and parties wanting to clog the case without helping the court to determine the suit.

Mr Haji’s case was argued by senior prosecutors Dorcas Oduor and Alexander Muteti.

Fida and Kamotho in their applications argued that they had a stake in the case.

Fida said that Justice Mwilu was being targeted for being a woman.

Kamotho claimed that he had been mentioned in the case by Mwilu. However, he opted to defend, her saying she was charged under a non-existent law.

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ICJ said it had information and expertise to contribute in the case that other parties did not have.

“The petition does not raise any issue of discrimination on the basis on gender bias, as presented by Fida. Parties cannot be allowed to raise new issues in the case,” argued Ms Oduor.

It emerged that Fida was part of Justice Mwilu’s defence team at the Magistrate’s Court. The DPP argued that the lobby had taken sides in the case.

The Attorney General, through lawyer Immanuel Mbita, argued that criminal cases touched on individuals, hence all the parties that wanted to be enjoined had no claim in the case.

“Criminal proceedings are personal to the accused, hence Fida has no claim to the case,” argued Mr Mbita.

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Deputy Chief Justice Philomena MwiluFIDA