• The Judicial Service Commission (JSC) has accused Deputy Chief Justice Philomena Mwilu of using shrewd tactics in order to save her job.

    The commission faulted Mwilu and her team of allegedly manipulating the rules and employing delaying tactics in order to hamper court proceedings seeking her removal. 

    Since the first petition which was filed in 2018, no conclusive judgement has been pronounced, something that has seemingly further frustrated the JSC.

    Inside the precincts of a Kenyan court

    The commission currently cannot proceed with the four petitions filed against Mwilu owing to the orders of the High Court that suspended the proceedings.

    The JSC has since pointed out that Mwilu withheld crucial information that would have deemed the suspension of the case unwarranted.

    Mwilu’s lawyers, John Khaminwa, Nelson Havi, Okong’o Omogeni argued that the DCJ could not get a fair hearing before the JSC.

    In a petition filed by her lawyers, she sought the exclusion of both Attorney General Paul Kariuki and the Law Society of Kenya (LSK) representative to the JSC Macharia Njeru, from the case.

    They argued that AG Kariuki was part of the team that approved the decision to set in motion criminal proceedings against Mwilu.

    Moreover, she claimed Njeru had taken sides and agreed with AG Kariuki’s stance to institute the case. This, she stated, meant that Njeru showed favoritism and was biased against her.

    The JSC also pointed out that Mwilu had sought for the removal of one of the petitions filed in 2019 by the office of the Directorate of Public Prosecution (DPP) and Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI).

    She argued that State agencies were not allowed to file petitions for the removal of a judge. The DCJ had stated that petitions filed against ex-DCJ Nancy Baraza had been filed by individual holders of office. 

    When the case was taken up by the JSC earlier in the year, her team further pushed for physical meetings instead of virtual meetings arguing that the virtual meetings were rushed and did not respect the rules of natural justice.

    One of Mwilu’s lawyers, Khaminwa argued that due to his old age, he could not risk coming to the court owing to the then Covid-19 restrictions.

    Left to right: Supreme Court Judge Philomena Mwilu, CJ David Maraga during a past ruling
    Left to right: Supreme Court Judge Philomena Mwilu, CJ David Maraga during a past ruling