High Court Judge Joseph Louis Onguto who died recently has been described as one of the most honest, humble and brilliant legal minds to have served in the Judiciary.
During his burial in Siaya on Saturday, his colleagues in the Judiciary said he touched many lives during his life while discharging his duties in the various positions he held.
Chief Justice David Maraga in his condolence message said the Justice Onguto was committed to entrenching the rule of law in the country.
“On behalf of the Judicial Service Commission, the entire Judiciary and on my own behalf, I send our deepest condolences to his wife Consolata, his children, the Judiciary family and the Kenyan people whom he served with dedication,” Mr Maraga said.
His message was read by his deputy Philomena Mwilu during Mr Ongutos’ burial at his rural home in Gem, Dudi, Siaya County.
Mr Maraga said Mr Onguto served with humility and was courteous to all who appeared before him.
“His death is a loss not only to his immediate family and the country at large but to the Judiciary family where he was a leader among his peers as he founded and led the Judges Welfare Committee,” he said.
The funeral was also attended by a number of judges and magistrates.
Politicians led by Siaya Senator James Orengo, Governor Cornell Rasanga, Rarieda MP Otiende Amollo and Elisha Odhiambo from Gem hailed the man for uplifting the status of the region.
“We must be proud as a community to have produced one of the smartest judges who conducted his business without fear or favour,” said Mr Orengo.
He appealed to other judicial officers to emulate the Justice Onguto whom he said served with dedication and commitment to his duties.
Despite his busy schedule and involving work, he never lacked time for his family, his wife Consolata Adhiambo Onguto said.
The judge was last on duty on February 28 where he upheld the election of Embakasi Central MP Benjamin Gathiru.
He collapsed on March 1 after a gym session at Parklands Sports Club and was pronounced dead upon reaching the MP Shah Hospital.
Justice Onguto was appointed as a high court judge in 2014.
He served in the Environment and Land Court Division until 2015 when he was transferred to the Constitutional and Human Rights Division.
In January 2017, he was moved to the Commercial Division of the High Court where he served until his death.