The anti-corruption court has adjourned proceedings on the case involving Deputy Chief Justice Philomena Mwilu and declined to stop the prosecution. This comes after High Court Judge Chacha Mwita had suspended the Deputy CJ’s prosecution on Wednesday pending determination of constitutional issues, and an apparent mix up in court order numbers which was brought to the attention of the magistrate. Judge Mwilu was arrested on Tuesday afternoon and was arraigned at the Milimani Law courts on the same evening, prompting magistrate Lawrence Mugambi to adjourn proceedings given that it was past court working hours.
She filed a petition to the High Court contesting her prosecution. The Deputy CJ faced charges ranging from abuse of office for personal gain, failure to pay taxes to obtaining execution for a security belonging to Imperial Bank Limited by false pretence. During proceedings, DCJ Mwilu’s lawyers argued that her alleged impropriety in connection with the Imperial Bank is a commercial matter and not a criminal case. She said the case appears to be part of a scheme targeting her as the deputy chief justice. James Orengo also supported the sentiments, saying the charges were criminalising a purely commercial transaction that took place five years ago and that there was no factual foundation for initiating charges against Mwilu.
However, after the High Court suspended the proceedings, it was noted that the order that was served and stayed was no. 292 of 2018 instead of no. 38 of 2018, “This order in my view does not apply to this case, am not going to be bound by this order…The order must be specific and not subject to any interpretation so that the court can comply with the correct order,” said Mugambi. He adjourned proceedings to give the High Court time to put the record straight regarding the order. He maintained the bail terms for the accused persons and the parties are set to appear before him on Friday 31st Augst at 11:00 am.