A section of lawyers and Kenyans at large have taken to social media to condemn the arrest of Deputy Chief Justice Philomena Mwilu over graft charges and abuse of office, saying the arrest is in line with President Uhuru’s threat to “revisit” the judiciary following the Supreme Court decision to overturn his August 2017 election.
“The arrest of Deputy CJ Philomena Mwilu, one who has Security Of Tenure, On allegations of a bribe of a paltry Kshs. 12m, signals a new phase by President Uhuru Kenyatta in consolidating his legacy. Those who have stolen from the Public or received bribes: Be Afraid, Very Afraid!” Advocate Donald B Kipkorir said in a tweet.
Wakili Ochieng: The arrest of Deputy CJ Philomena Mwilu may be part of the “We will fix the Judiciary” fad which commenced with budget cuts. But it could also be an open show of might to tell Bill that if the second in command at Judiciary can be arrested then the second in Executive is not immune!
Gabriel Oguda: The Chief Justice retires at 70. David Maraga is 67, he shall retire before 2022 polls. His Deputy, Philomena Mwilu should succeed him until a replacement is found. Supreme Court Judge, Susanna Njoki Ndung’u is currently 52.
Mwilu was arrested on Tuesday allegedly over graft case linked to Imperial Bank and tax evasion.
DCJ ARREST NOT “REVISITING THE JUDICIARY”- HAJI
The Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) Noordin Haji has however dismissed allegations that the arrest of Deputy Chief Justice Philomena Mwilu is part of the “we shall revisit” threats and added that he was handed an investigation file relating to the Deputy Chief Justice by the DCI and it had substantial evidence to warrant prosecution.
“The issue about revisiting; we are an independent institution and not being directed by anyone or by any statements given out there. Decision made independently of all other matters and factors that you might think might have brought this about,” he said.
The Supreme Court had by a majority ruling in September 2017 nullified the 8 August presidential election saying it was marred by irregularities and was not done in accordance with the constitution.
UHURU/RUTO THREATEN SUPREME COURT JUDGES
President Uhuru, although citing that he would respect the court’s decision, was not amused when the Supreme Court nullified his election in September 2017.
“How can four people overturn the decision of 40 million Kenyans!”Uhuru had posed while addressing a crowd at Burma market.
He together with his deputy William Ruto launched a series of verbal attacks on the supreme court judges including the Chief Justice David Maraga over their decision to annul their re-election on the August polls.
The two discussed the supreme court judges of orchestrating a “civilian coup” by going against the “will of the people” and threatened to “fix” the judiciary once they are re-elected.
“Maraga na hao wakora wake (Maraga and his crooks) must know that I am the sitting president. I was president-elect but they should now know that they are dealing with a sitting president” Uhuru said.