Colleagues term Justice Odek death blow to Judiciary

Tuesday, December 24th, 2019 00:00 |
Justice James Odek’s widow Anne (centre) and sons William Otieno (left) and Wilson Odhiambo at the All Saints’ Cathedral in Nairobi, yesterday. Photo/PD/GERALD ITHANA

Noven Owiti and Bernard Gitau

Kisumu Court of Appeal judge Otieno Odek was yesterday described as a brilliant man whose death has dealt a blow to the Judiciary.

 In a funeral at the All Saints’ Cathedral in Nairobi, President of the Court of Appeal Justice William Ouko said Odek’s death was a “great tragedy and untimely”.

 “We have lost a person of an illustrious and brilliant mind, passionate for justice and one who was wired on the social scene,” he said.

Law Society of Kenya (LSK) president Allen Gichuhi eulogised Odek as an intellectual giant. 

Others who attended the mass include Supreme Court judge Mohammed Ibrahim, High Court judge Mumbi Ngugi, and lawyer Tom Ojienda.

Family man

 Odek’s widow Ann and children Billy, Ding and Ian described Odek  as a loving and humble family man.

 “You were an anchor in our lives, providing all kinds of support that enabled us to truly have a life well-lived,” said Ann in her tribute.

 Meanwhile, an autopsy will be conducted today. The judge’s remains will be interred this Friday at his rural home in Asembo, Siaya county. 

Odek’s body will be viewed at the Kisumu High Court on Thursday before being taken home for the night vigil.

The judge’s elder brother Yonah Odek said the autopsy will be conducted at the Aga Khan Hospital in Kisumu from 9am.

He said Chief Government Pathologist Johansen Oduor confirmed to the family he would be present to preside over the examination.

“We are set for the postmortem. The Government pathologist who will oversee the  process confirmed the date and time with us,” said Yonah.

 The post-mortem had been postponed twice. The exercise was postponed last Thursday following a directive from the Director of Criminal Investigations George Kinoti that it should be done in the presence of Chief Government pathologist, who was not available.

 Nyanza Regional DCI boss James Kipsoi said the decision to push forward the  examination was necessitated by the instruction of DCI boss.

The autopsy also had been postponed earlier after the family requested for more time to decide the exact place where they wanted it carried out.

 Nyanza Regional Police Commander Dr Vincent Makokha told People Daily that an update on the investigations into Justice Odek’s death would be given after the postmortem exercise today. 

“We are still consulting with the Judiciary officials on who will give the information regarding the progress of the investigations into the judge’s death,” said Makokha.

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