DCJ Mwilu off the hook as court quashes graft charges against her

Deputy Chief Justice Philemona Mwilu.
Deputy Chief Justice Philomena Mwilu has survived a prosecution after High Court suppressed corruption charges against her.

A five judge bench comprising of justices Hellen Omondi, William Musyoka, Mumbi Ngugi, Chacha Mwita and Francis Tuiyot ruled that Director of Public Prosecution (DPP) Noordin Haji lacked the legal basis to indict judge Mwilu as the evidence was illegally obtained.

The court added that Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI) violated her rights to privacy when they gained access to her Imperial Bank Ltd (IBL) accounts without following the due process.

DCJ Philomena Mwilu counsels Okongo Omogeni and James Orengo at a Milimani law courts. [George Njunge/Standard]
The prosecution has expressed interest to appeal the decision.

The Director of Public Prosecution Noordin Haji had asked court to determine whether criminal proceedings can be initiated against a sitting judge.  

Where it all began

Deputy Chief Justice Philomena Mwilu was arrested on August 28, 2018 at the Supreme Court grounds.

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She was then taken to DCI headquarters for questioning over alleged graft, escorted by Director of Criminal Investigations George Kinoti.

Mwilu was arrested in a crackdown at the Supreme Court over allegations of financial impropriety.

She then filed a case before High Court judge Chacha Mwita who immediately gave her orders stopping the criminal trial. This marked the start of a new battle.

The judiciary’s second in command closed her case against DPP Noordin Haji with a crescendo from Nigerian playwright Wole Soyinka that “when the king’s rubber falls in an audience, the wise look away until his nakedness is covered.”

While faulting the DPP and Director of Criminal Investigations George Kinoti, Mwilu’s battery of lawyers argued that the plot to charge her was hatched by Haji and communicated in a letter from his office to Kinoti.

“The decision to prosecute was instigated by the DPP and pre-determined by the DPP. The investigations were instigated by the DPP himself,” argued Justice Mwilu’s lawyer Julie Soweto.

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