The arrest of Deputy Chief Justice Philomena Mwilu came as a “surprise and shock” to members of the Judicial Service Commission (JSC), commissioner Tom Ojienda has said, in a narration of the events.
In a TV interview on Sunday night, the lawyer said the Director of Criminal Investigations (DCI) and the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) “invaded” their meeting at the Supreme Court last Tuesday.
“We were taken aback by what happened. Everything happened so quickly. The DPP and the DCI went to the lower boardroom. We were in the upper boardroom. We [thought there would be] a formal meeting [but learnt] that the DCJ would later be arrested,” he said.
Mr Ojienda’s narration came on the backdrop of revelations by Chief Justice David Maraga that the Mr Haji had informed him of the impending arrest.
The commissioner faulted the way the arrest was conducted, saying there could have been an “ulterior motive”.
“The whole saga – her arrest and arraignment in court – came as a great surprise to many of us, given that we were in the same boardroom,” he said.
The lawyer noted that legal procedures require that the commission is informed of such events in advance as the deputy CJ is among its senior members.
“Being among one of our members, it would have been prudent for us to have prior information,” he said without elaborating.
Justice Mwilu is facing several charges, including using her office to obtain a Sh12 million non-taxed loan from the collapsed Imperial Bank of Kenya and tax evasion in the acquisition of loans.
Judge Mwilu has opposed the charges, saying she is being “targeted” for her role in the determination of 2017 presidential election petition.
The second highest judge in the land voted in support of the nullification of President Uhuru Kenyatta’s election on August 8, 2017. Her case will be heard again on October 9.