Kenya’s Deputy Chief Justice Philomena Mwilu returns to court on Tuesday in a renewed battle to stop her prosecution over corruption allegations.
The court is expected to make a determination on Director of Public Prosecution Noordin Haji’s application that seeks to set aside orders suspending criminal proceedings against the DCJ.
Justice Chacha Mwita will also make a determination on the DPP’s application that seeks to have Mwilu’s application challenging her prosecution transferred to the Anti-Corruption and Economic Crimes Division of the High Court.
The matter is currently before the Constitutional and Human Rights Court.
The DPP wants the case moved to ensure consistency and judicial harmony in decision-making on all anti-corruption and economic crimes cases.
He also wants Mwilu’s case to be handled by a three-judge bench on grounds that it raised substantial questions of law and it is of public importance.
On September 19, Justice Mwita declined to transfer the matter and directed the parties to appear before him on October 9 for an inter-parties hearing.
Mwilu got a temporary reprieve on August 29 after she managed to obtain ex-parte orders suspending her criminal case.
She argued that the charges are not coincidental and appear to be part of a larger scheme to embarrass her in her capacity as the Deputy Chief Justice and to expose her to ridicule and harassment.
The DCJ was arrested on August 28 at the Supreme Court and arraigned on corruption-related charges.
They include abuse of office, failure to pay stamp tax, improperly obtaining Sh12 million from the troubled Imperial Bank and obtaining security by false pretence, among other counts.
Mwilu wants her case to be determined by the Judicial Service Commission but the DPP has opposed the push saying the JSC was not established as an alternative to due court processes.
On Monday, a man petitioned the JSC seeking the removal of Mwilu from office.
Mogire Mogaka claims Mwilu is corrupt and untrustworthy and has contributed to the collapse of the Imperial Bank of Kenya.
Mwilu, he says, has demeaned the office of the DCJ as she has used it to improperly enrich herself.