Kenya’s deputy Chief Justice Philomena Mwilu was arrested on Tuesday for corruption allegations, failure to pay tax, and improper dealings with a local bank now in receivership, the police and the country’s top prosecutor said.
Noordin Haji told a news conference that Mwilu had abused her office for personal gain, undermining public integrity in the judiciary.
Director of Criminal Investigations George Kinoti told Reuters in a text message: “I can confirm the arrest of the deputy chief justice.”
Reuters was unable to immediately contact representatives of Mwilu.
The Standard newspaper said Mwilu was arrested at the Supreme Court and taken by the Director of Criminal Investigations George Kinoti to DCI headquarters for questioning over the alleged graft.
Noordin Haji said Mwilu will be charged with abuse of office, receiving bribe and failing to pay taxes.
“The evidence in our possession, reveals that: Lady Justice Mwilu abused her office for personal gain. Accepted a gift in the form of money in circumstances which undermined public confidence in the integrity of her office, conducted herself in disregard of the law.
“In view of the above, I have concluded that the evidence is sufficient with a reasonable prospect of conviction and it is in the public interest that criminal proceedings should be preferred,” said Haji.
The arrest was effected after several meetings of the Judicial Service Commission and the Judiciary.
Mwilu was sworn in as deputy chief justice on 28 October, 2016.
She graduated from the University of Nairobi and was admitted as an advocate of the High Court of Kenya in 1984.
She has 32 years’ experience in the legal profession.
Kenya is waging a relentless war against corruption, with President Uhuru Kenyatta urging all leaders in the country to help fight graft.