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Judges pay their last respects to the late Justice James Otieno Odek at Lisumu Law courts memorial service on December 26, 2019. [Collins Oduor/Standard]

Nyanza
Court of Appeal judges have mourned their colleague Otieno Odek, saying the vacuum he has left in the Judiciary would be difficult to fill.

Court of Appeal judges have mourned their colleague Otieno Odek, saying the vacuum he has left in the Judiciary would be difficult to fill.

In their usual red fatigues, the judges gathered at Kisumu Law Courts for a requiem mass ahead of his burial today in Asembo, Siaya County.

Led by the Court of Appeal President William Ouko, the judges said Prof Odek’s death was a huge blow to the administration of justice in the country.

“The nation has lost immensely and the Court of Appeal and the Judiciary are poorer without him,” said Justice Ouko.

While he always cut a serious figure in court, Wanjiru Karanja said Odek was easy-going outside court.

“He was humorous and would not shy away from enjoying a good laugh,” she said. The judges said he was not only brilliant and a workaholic, but had a big heart for the downtrodden.

“He was an intellectual giant from a young age,” remarked Jamila Mohamed.

“He was a philanthropist. He once accompanied me to Meru where we inspired many young children and fundraised for the vulnerable,” said Patrick Kiage.

Daniel Musinga said the shoes Odek had left in the Court of Appeal were too big to fill.

“In our Judiciary there has never been a judge as efficient and industrious as Prof Odek, and I doubt whether there will ever be,” he said.

Odek was found dead at his Kisumu apartment on December 16. A postmortem examination conducted by Chief Pathologist Johanssen Oduor on Monday, revealed that he had a blood clot in his right leg, which caused a blockage in his arteries.

Odek was the director of the Judiciary Training Institute from 2016-18. The 56-year-old was sworn in as a Court of Appeal judge in 2012. In 2011, Odek unsuccessfully applied to be a Supreme Court judge.

The Director of Public Prosecutions Noordin Haji had revealed that Odek would testify against his former partner Tom Ojienda.

Senior counsel Ojienda was set to be charged with fraud over alleged Sh89 million he received as legal fees from Mumias Sugar Company.

Odek will be buried today.


Justice Odek dead Justice Odek burial

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