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Kenya’s Deputy Chief Justice arrested for alleged graft

Kenya’s Deputy Chief Justice Philomena Mwilu was arrested at Supreme Court in Nairobi over alleged corruption. Judge Mwilu was yesterday taken to the Directorate of Criminal Investigations for questioning.

Deputy Chief Justice Philomena Mwilu
Deputy Chief Justice Philomena Mwilu

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.

Interestingly, Judge Mwilu also attended the meetings and it is not clear if she was being grilled by her employer.

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 was expected that 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.

The Nation has followed this case for months after it learnt that the judge had been reported by the Kenya Revenue Authority to 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 investigators had previously focused on the directors of the collapsed bank and some CBK officials.The judge 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. – Daily Nation