DPP orders prosecution of DCJ Philomena Mwilu to Proceed
Updated: 5th September, 2018
An affidavit filed by Abdalla Komesha Mwatesefu who is attached to the DCI says Justice Mwilu has failed to demonstrate that the DCI did not act independently or acted in bad faith.
Mr. Mwatesefu says that in the course of investigations, it was established that Justice Mwilu’s son, Timothy Mutunga, was working at Imperial Bank Limited Headquarters in Westlands as Quality Assurance Officer having been employed in 2015. He also claims the Deputy Chief Justice received Ksh.12 million from IBL, money which was credited to her bank account at the said bank on October 23, 2013.
Adopted From JKLIVE
Chief Magistrate faults high court order, declines to halt DCJ Philomena Mwilu’s prosecution
In a day of high legal drama, Chief Magistrate Lawrence Mugambi has declined to halt Deputy Chief Justice Philomena Mwilu’s prosecution hours after High Court Judge Chacha Mwita stayed it.
Magistrate Mugambi has ruled that the orders by High Court temporarily blocking the DCJ’s case do not apply to the case before him.
“I don’t want to amend the orders of the court, that will be trespassing on dangerous areas. I am only guided by an order that is clear and specific. So this order, in my view, does not apply to this case,” ruled Magistrate Mugambi.
It later transpired that the case number on the stay order was different from the case number of the matter before the magistrate. The High Court had suspended DCJ Philomena Mwilu’s case until constitutional issues surrounding it were resolved.
Judge Chacha Mwita ruled that there were constitutional questions to be addressed in the petition, especially on grounds that it was a commercial matter and whether it can lead to the arrest of a judge. He ruled the matter will remain pending until October 9, 2018.
Justice Mwilu had on Wednesday morning filed a petition at the High Court challenging her prosecution. She also said that the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) had no powers to arrest her.
The top judge is facing several charges of forgery, abuse of office and unlawful failure to pay taxes. She was Wednesday morning arraigned before the Anti-Corruption Court to take a plea. Magistrate Lawrence Mugambi referred orders suspending prosecution of DCJ Philomena Mwilu back to High Court Judge Chacha Mwita for a correction of the case number.
He maintained Sh5 million personal bond for the DCJ and ordered parties to appear before him on Friday August 31 at 11am. On serving the order, Orengo had told the court: “Now we have no alternative but to down our tools the tools of the Deputy Director of Public Prosecutions [Dorcas Oduor].
But dismissing Mr Orengo’s submission, the magistrate said: ” I take this order as it is. It cannot be the one to stop this case.” Mr Orengo had begged for a stay of the despite the error arguing that the technicality on which it was decline was a human error therefore not of substance. The magistrate directed the lawyers to go back to the High Court and amend the application for the stay.
High Court stops Philomena Mwilu prosecution
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Kenya’s top prosecutor Noordin Haji has suffered a blow in his quest to prosecute the country’s second highest judge for alleged corruption.
The High Court on Wednesday stopped criminal proceedings against Deputy Chief Justice Philomena Mwilu and lawyer Stanley Kiima.
The judge is facing several charges of stealing, abuse of office and unlawful failure to pay taxes.
Additionally, investigators claim that the judge has acted in contravention of the Leadership and Integrity Act by accepting a personal loan of Sh12 million from Imperial Bank.
The deputy CJ is also accused of engaging in misconduct in furtherance of personal benefit.
But in her application, Judge Mwilu had argued that her alleged impropriety while handling Imperial Bank cases is purely a commercial matter and not a criminal offence.
She argued that Mr Haji was motivated by malice and his allegations are malicious.
Through senior counsel John Khaminwa and Okongo Omogeni, it was her argument that the case is “purely commercial transactions” and which were concluded.
The case, she said, is not coincidental and appears to be part of a larger scheme to embarrass her as the country’s second top judge.
In his ruling, Justice Chacha Mwita said there are constitutional issues to be addressed in the petition, especially on grounds that the matter was a commercial matter and whether it can lead to the arrest of a judge.
The question to be addressed is whether issues relating to a transaction between a party and commercial institution would lead to criminal charges.
There is also a wider question whether a judge would be said to have failed to pay for stamp duty while the lawyer who acted for her faces charges of forgery.
Therefore, there is a constitutional question to be addressed in the area of commercial law.
The case will be heard on October 9.
Meanwhile the criminal proceedings pending before the magistrate remain suspended until then.
Adopted From Daily Nation
Mwilu in court on abuse of office, tax evasion and bribery charges
Deputy Chief Justice Philomena Mwilu was yesterday arrested over corruption claims.
The DCJ was brought before the Anti-Corruption Court under heavy security a few minutes before 5pm. But when Chief Magistrate Lawrence Mugambi walked in at 5.10pm, it was too late to continue with the proceedings.
The DCJ, however, did not take plea after a long day with investigators.
“I do not understand why the State decided to bring the accused past the normal working hours. And even if the court was to proceed, it will be like going against the right to a fair trial, as there will be no open office to process bail if granted,” said Mr Mugambi.
He granted Justice Mwilu and her co-accused, lawyer Stanley Muluvi, a personal bond of Sh5 million each and directed that they appear before him today at 9am when they are scheduled to be formally charged.
Prosecutors have accused the DCJ of abuse of office, accepting money in the form of a gift, failure to pay taxes, and obtaining by false pretext security belonging to Imperial Bank – which was placed under receivership.
However, Justice Mwilu’s team of 18 lawyers, led by senior counsels James Orengo, Okongo Omogeni and John Khmainwa, told the court they planned to object to the charges.
According to Mr Orengo, the proposed charges are defective and cannot meet the threshold of a criminal case against the DCJ.
He also submitted that they would object to Justice Mwilu being tried by a magistrate, “which is way below the hierarchy of the Judiciary”.
“We are notifying the court that we will object to the charges being read and will not allow our client to plead to them. The intended prosecution does not only raise a question on the jurisdiction of a magistrate to try a deputy CJ but also the constitutionality of the charges,” said Orengo.
Away from the glamour of her office and round-the-clock security, the DCJ appeared lost in an unfamiliar territory, as she faced a judicial officer way below her rank.
Unlike daily practice, where she enjoys the comfort of state-of-the-art office seats and attention of lawyers, Justice Mwilu sat like an ordinary citizen in the court benches and waited for the magistrate to issue directions.
Philomena Mwilu was whisked away
She had been picked up from her office in the Supreme Court building and ushered into a Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI) car by her own security detail at 1.47pm.
The DCI boss George Kinoti was to her left as she walked to the car, capping a dramatic day that saw Director of Public Prosecutions Noordin Haji first meet Chief Justice David Maraga in his office at the courts.
One of Mwilu’s guards opened the door to a Subaru for her to get in and walked back to the entrance to watch her whisked away.
The DCJ, who was clad in a grey trouser suit, was driven in a motorcade of four cars – two Subarus, a Mercedes Benz that Mr Kinoti rode in, and a Volkswagen.
The day’s events had started at 7am when Judicial Service Commission (JSC) members met for close to two hours at the Supreme Court building.
Mr Haji later drove in and went into Maraga’s office at 8.40am for a private meeting that lasted close to one-and-a-half hours. He drove out at 10.07am.
The DPP later confirmed in a Press statement that he had gone to inform the CJ of his decision to charge Justice Mwilu.
A source privy to the JSC meeting said the commissioners were agonising on how the issue would be handled, with the view being held that judges’ indiscipline ought to pass through the commission and not the criminal justice system.
“Noordin aliingia saa mbili na forty na JSC pia walikuwa hapa (Noordin came in at 8.40am and the JSC was here too),” said a staff in Mwilu’s office, who sought anonymity.
The staff added: “Tumekuwa na watu wa CID kutoka jana, lakini walikuwa wanapitia gate ya KICC (CID officers have been here since yesterday, but they were using the KICC gate).”
The employee said Justice Mwilu had disregarded advise to keep away from the office to avoid getting arrested.
Noordin would later return to the Supreme Court building using the same gate next to Jogoo House at 1pm. This time he was with Kinoti.
They rode in one car, a sleek BMW 7 Series.
As it would later emerge, the two had gone to arrest the second most powerful person in the Judiciary.
Philomena Mwilu – Watertight case
The DPP later said that it was a hard decision to conclude that Justice Mwilu must answer to criminal charges.
“This afternoon, I informed Chief Justice David Maraga of my decision to grant consent for arrest and prosecution of the DCJ Lady Justice Philomena Mbete Mwilu. This decision has not been taken lightly but it’s the right decision under the law,” said Noordin.
He added: “Investigating and punishing wrongdoing is difficult and painful, but it has to be done. We did this (inform Maraga) out of respect, and she is also our boss.”
Noordin exuded confidence that there was a watertight case against the Judiciary’s second-in-command, saying he had enough evidence to secure a conviction.
According to Noordin, the crimes the DCJ was accused of committing happened over time – from when she was a Court of Appeal judge – and continued even when she took over from former DCJ Kalpana Rawal.
“I have concluded that the evidence is sufficient with a reasonable prospect of conviction, and it is in public interest that criminal proceedings should be preferred. There can be no justice if lawyers, prosecutors, magistrates, judges and investigators, who are court officials, use their positions to enrich themselves at the expense of Kenyans,” he said.
Noordin said the country was bleeding from graft, which has run riot in Government agencies. The DPP said companies had failed and many workers lost jobs because of a few people who had been selfishly raiding State coffers.
He, however, denied that the decision to charge Justice Mwilu was retribution for the Supreme Court’s nullification of President Uhuru Kenyatta’s victory last year.
An irate President Kenyatta had at the time lampooned the Supreme Court judges as wakora (thugs) and warned that his Government would revisit that decision after his re-election. “We are an independent institution and there is no influence,” Noordin said yesterday.
Adopted from the standard
Deputy Chief Justice Philomena Mwilu arrested at Supreme Court
Deputy Chief Justice Philomena Mwilu has been arrested at Supreme Court in Nairobi over alleged corruption.
Judge Mwilu was on Tuesday taken to the Directorate of Criminal Investigations for questioning.
Moments after the arrest, Director of Public Prosecutions Noordin Haji called an urgent press conference on the matter.
Her arrest followed a series of meetings by the Judicial Service Commission, the judiciary employer, for the better part of the morning.
Mr Haji and Kenya’s top crime buster George Kinoti attended some of the meetings before Judge Mwilu was taken into custody.
The agenda and resolutions of the meetings were not immediately clear and it is expected that Mr Haji will communicate the same.
Staff at the Supreme Court went on about their business as usual, with the majority avoiding contact with journalists.
The arrest of such a high-ranking judicial staff, unprecedented in Kenya’s history, is the culmination of weeks of investigations into brazen corruption at the Judiciary, and is likely to send shock waves throughout the institution.
Philomena Mwilu and Imperial Bank
The Nation has followed this case for months after it learnt that the judge had been reported by the Kenya Revenue Authority to Mr Haji over the suspicious movement of large sums of money in and out of bank accounts.
Sources told the Nation that investigations on the judge have mainly revolved around transactions involving the collapsed Imperial Bank, and failure to pay taxes.
The Central Bank (CBK) appointed the Kenya Deposit Insurance Corporation (KDIC) as receivers of Imperial Bank in October 2015 following its collapse amid revelations that up to Sh34 billion of shareholder deposits had gone missing.
The investigators had previously focused on the directors of the collapsed bank and some CBK officials.
Justice Philomena Mwilu faces numerous counts of stealing, abuse of office and unlawful failure to pay taxes.
Additionally, investigators claim that the judge has acted in contravention of the Leadership and Integrity Act by accepting a personal loan of Sh12 million from Imperial Bank.
Justice Philomena Mwilu is also accused of engaging in misconduct in furtherance of personal benefit.
Chief Justice David Maraga, who heads the institution, has previously indicated that there will be no sacred cows, even within the corridors of justice, in the fight against corruption.
“I have no room for corrupt judicial officers,” he warned in June this year.
“Know that you are alone if you are corrupt and expect no sympathy, mercy or protection from my office.”
Philomena Mwilu Biography
Justice Philomena Mwilu is the deputy chief justice of Kenya Supreme court. Justice Philomena Mwilu is a Court of Appeal judge. She has served in the Judiciary for 32 years. She has also served in the Commercial Division in Nairobi, at the Eldoret High Court and the Civil Appeals sub-division of the High Court, the murder section of the Criminal Division and later headed the Environment and Land Division of the High Court.
Philomena Mwilu Education Background
Justice Philomena Mwilu graduated from the University of Nairobi and was admitted as an advocate of the High Court of Kenya in 1984.
Philomena Mwilu Career
- From 1984 to 1991, Philomena Mwilu began her judicial career by practising law in the firm of Muthoga Gaturu & Company and later went to Mutunga & Company Advocates.
- June 1991 – April 1997: Senior Legal manager at at Jubilee Insurance Company Ltd as a senior legal manager.
- 1999 and 2001: Board secretary at the Electricity Regulatory board
- 2006 – 2007: The deputy chairperson of the Energy Tribunal.
- 2007: Director of the Board of Nairobi Water and Sewerage company and later as chair of the Legal and Human Resource Committees of the Board before she joined the Judiciary
- She first served in the Commercial Division in Nairobi and later transferred to the High Court in Eldoret.
She was later transferred to Nairobi where she served at the Criminal Division and later headed the Environment and Land Division of the High Court, between February and December 2011.
- In January 2012, she was appointed the head of the Environment and Land Division of the High Court and in November of the same year, she was elevated to the Court of Appeal
Philomena Mwilu Nomination as the deputy chief justice
During an interview by the JSC, Justice Philomena Mwilu said she supported polygamy “as long as there is peace in the family”.
Justice Mwilu also said that if appointed she would ask to head the anti-corruption docket, saying she was best suited to fight the vice.
“I will set systems in place, strengthen them and also set others to prevent corruption,” she said.
At the same time, she asked the JSC to increase the number of women in the Supreme Court to three.
Lady Justice Philomena Mwilu beat 15 other candidates to emerge victorious in the search for Kenya’s next DCJ to replace Kalpana Rawal who retired upon attaining the constitutional age of 70 years.
Interesting facts about Deputy Chief Justice Philomena Mwilu
Philomena first became popular among Kenyans during the pre-trial conference of the presidential petition in August 2017.
Here are some interesting facts about Deputy Chief Justice Philomena Mwilu that you probably don’t know:
- She graduated from the University of Nairobi and was admitted as an advocate of the High Court of Kenya in 1984.
- She has 32 years’ experience in the legal profession. She practiced law in two firms including Mutunga & Company Advocates
- She was sworn in as the Deputy Chief Justice on 28th October 2016.
- She supports polygamy. During an interview by the JSC, Justice Philomena Mwilu said she supported polygamy “as long as there is peace in the family.”
- She trounced 12 women who had been shortlisted for the position of DCJ to become the current DCJ.
- It was her first time sitting in a presidential petition.
Philomena Mwilu News
Love at first sight: When Amos Wako met Justice Philomena Mwilu
When the United States government banned Senior Counsel Amos Wako from setting foot in the US, the Busia Senator was, “Totally indifferent to the ban, I have no desire to visit US,” as he said.
That was in November 2009 when Wako was Kenya’s longest serving Attorney General. He was barred for life from ever setting foot in the land of ‘Uncle Sam’ over his anti-reform record alongside other high-ranking government officials.
Indeed, Wako had no desire to visit the US of A considering the love of his life resides in Kenya; the comely Lady Justice Philomena Mwilu, Supreme Court judge and Kenya’s Deputy Chief Justice.
The outgoing power couple has been an item for two decades in a relationship that has been under wraps to majority of Kenyans. But to their closest friends and family, whenever the Lady Justice is around, the bespectacled Wako is never far away, his smile breaking the patterns of his pin-striped suits.
“It’s not like they are hiding their relationship,” a diplomatic attaché in Kenya told The Nairobian, adding that during social functions at the Embassy, it’s a running joke between staffers on how to address their invitation letters either as ‘Hon Wako and Hon Judge Mwilu’ on the same card or to just post the invitations separately.
Philomena Mwilu Family – Philomena Mwilu Children
Amos Wako, a father of two, met and fell in love with Philomena Mwilu, a mother of three, in 1997, the year Kenya held its second multi-party elections.
Wako had been Kenya’s Attorney General for six years at the time. When retired President Moi appointed him to the position on May 13, 1991, he said he was “dumbfounded.”
Justice Philomena Mwilu and Amos Wako
But Wako was not “dumbfounded” when he laid his eyes on Mwilu who was then working as head of legal department at Jubilee Insurance Company.
“I remember they met over some issues that were affecting Mwilu at her company. Some millions had been stolen and Mwilu had sought help from the Attorney General to have the culprits brought to book,” recalls a personal friend of the two.
It was love at first sight. The world tilted on its axis. Within months, the two were out of control, not caring two hoots about the affair that got tongues wagging in legal circles.
Justice Philomena Mwilu Husband
Wako was then considered married but single, and he needed a partner, while Mwilu had dumped a now very powerful man in Parliament for Wako. “They were perfect partners” offers their personal friend despite Wako’s first wife, Flora Wako, still being around.
Having found love, Wako and Mwilu fully focused on their careers, with Wako leaving the State Law Office for politics as Mwilu climbed to the second most powerful woman in the Judiciary.
A politician from Western Kenya who is Wako’s friend told The Nairobian;
“I drink with Wako regularly. He loves his whiskey, and he doesn’t mind drinking till late, but in more than a decade that I have been drinking with him, I have never seen him with another woman. He is fiercely loyal to Mwilu, and has never looked at another woman. I would know if he did anything funny.”
But in July 2011 when Mwilu was a High Court judge a matter came up which led to owning up about her love life.
Lawyer Eric K’Omollo had lodged an application by six women’s groups who wanted Mwilu stopped from hearing their case due to her closeness to the Attorney General in what they argued could be a conflict of interest.
“We have reason to believe that such association or closeness that they have is of a personal nature,” they said, but Justice Mwilu, defending herself said her affair with Wako is “in the public domain, there is nothing to hide. It is okay for it (our closeness) to be discussed in open court.”
At the time, Wako as the Attorney General was a member of the Judicial Service Commission which has been sued jointly with his office.
A three-judge bench dismissed their application which had sought Mwilu’s disqualification from the case on grounds of bias and conflict of interest if she handled the case.
Lady Justice Mwilu is now known as Wako’s de facto second wife, a sharp shooting woman said never to mince words as was evidence when she was asked during her interview for the position of Deputy Chief Justice by the Judicial Service Commission regarding her views on polygamy. She said she supported it “as long as there is peace in the family.”
Lady Justice Philomena Mwilu Video
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