NAIROBI – Kenyan Deputy Chief Justice Philomena Mwilu has on Tuesday, August 28 been arrested at Supreme Court in Nairobi over alleged corruption.
Judge Mwilu, one of the judges who ruled to cancel Kenya’s troublesome 2017 elections, ordering a repeat, was arrested on the orders country’s Director of Public Prosecutions Noordin Haji.
She is being questioned by the police.
After the arrest, the Kenyan DPP Haji released a statement confirming the corruption allegations.
====================Full DPP statement=======================
Ladies and Gentlemen,
Over the last few months, there have been concerted efforts to fight corruption and economic crimes in the country that seriously deny the provision of basic necessities to the citizenry and affect development.
The fight has seen several high ranking officials and entities charged with various offences including asset forfeiture and confiscation. In this regard, the DCI forwarded to me an investigation file relating to the Deputy CJ which I have perused and given directions.
This afternoon, I informed Chief Justice David Maraga of my decision to grant consent for the arrest and prosecution of the Deputy Chief Justice, Lady Justice, Philomena Mbete Mwilu, on criminal charges.
This decision has not been taken lightly, but it is the right decision under the law. Most of us in the office of the Public Prosecutor are indeed officers of the court and the dignity and independence of the Judiciary is dear to us. I believe that judges in a democracy such as ours must be totally free to exercise their judgment in a societal environment that supports and protects them. Indeed, the precepts and principles of the constitution must be our guide at all times.
But the justice system only works if lawyers, prosecutors, magistrates and judges are fair and just. There can be no justice if lawyers, prosecutors,
magistrates, judges and investigators (who are court officials) use their position to enrich themselves at the expense of the Kenyan people.
I believe that the majority of court officials are honest, hardworking Kenyans who have offered their time and talents in the service of their country.
1- The evidence in our possession, reveals that:-
1. Lady Justice Mwilu abused her office for personal gain.
2. Accepted a gift in the form of money in circumstances which undermined public confidence in the integrity of her office.
3. Obtaining execution of a security belonging to Imperial Bank Limited now in receivership by false pretence.
4. Unlawful failure to pay taxes.
5. Conducted herself in disregard of the law.
6. In view of the above, I have concluded that the evidence is sufficient with a reasonable prospect of conviction and it is in the public interest that criminal proceedings should be preferred.
Investigating and punishing wrongdoing is difficult and painful, but it has to be done. Adherence to the rule of law binds and strengthens us as a Nation. Our country is being torn apart by people who have been placed in positions of trust and who in turn abuse this trust. At times Kenyans have failed to get justice because their lawyer is dishonest or the judge is unfair. Those in positions of service must not only submit to the constitutional precepts of integrity, they must exercise wisdom, demonstrate good judgement and lead by the power of their example.
2- Law enforcement decisions must be untainted by partisanship and under my stewardship, the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions will adhere fully to the constitution and not the fleeting interests of anyone. The checks and balances in our constitution are meant to establish a healthy tension among the branches of government as each ensures none oversteps its boundaries while keeping within the dictates of our constitution.
In keeping with our constitutional mandate, the ODPP must and will wage an aggressive effort against all forms of corruption. We have a duty to protect the health of our Kenyan people by ensuring that products offered for sale are properly and accurately tested to confirm that they are of good quality and safe to use. We will reinvigorate the efforts to protect the public in areas such as food and consumer product safety.
Our manufacturing companies must be protected from smugglers of fakes and merchants of cheap counterfeits.
All of us must pay taxes so that the government can have the revenue to provide Kenyans with services and to support devolution. Once those taxes are paid, they have to be used only for the intended purposes and not misappropriated by a few people. Taxpayers indeed the Kenyan people have a right to demand accountability.
Over the years, a system of chaos has taken root in our country. Millions of young people are unemployed partly because factories are collapsing or stagnant, stifled by a hostile business environment created by corruption. And when the government puts some money in the National Youth
3 – Service to help these young people and give them hope in life, it must NOT be misappropriated.
Families, as well as businesses, are suffering because of the high cost of energy. The country has spent billions of shilling taking power to the people. But if the current levels of corruption continue, Kenyans will not be able to afford energy and our industries cannot compete in the region.
The government is increasingly finding it difficult to implement infrastructure projects for the benefit of Kenyans. The cost of land, driven up by speculators with the help of a few officials at the National Land Commission, has become a heavy stone around the necks of Wananchi.
The message that the President, the Chief Justice and other Leaders have been sending is that this chaotic system needs to come to an end for the sake of our people. We as prosecutors are doing our best to support that vision and will reinvigorate the constitutional missions of the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions. We have embraced our role in prosecuting crime, in turn protecting Kenyan’s civil liberties, preserving our environment and ensuring fairness and accountability in the economy.
Our resources are limited. We cannot be everywhere at the same time. For now, we are prioritizing and being strategic in our actions so as to achieve the maximum possible impact in the shortest period. In the fullness of time, wherever there are law breakers, we will be there to take them to court and ensure that they are punished.
We have offices in the 47 counties and in most of them we have cases in court which are progressing well. In Nairobi, the NYS cases will come up for hearing
4 – between October and December. Two of the Kenya Power cases will be heard in October. The Kebs, NCPB and National Land Commission cases are in the pre-trial stage.
I am satisfied with the progress we are making on this front and I am happy with the cooperation and teamwork we have established with the Judiciary and the investigators.
Many other cases are under investigation, many more are being assessed by my office and Kenyans should expect fresh investigations and prosecutions on a regular basis.