Mwilu appeals court order barring her from acting as CJ
Bernice Mbugua @BerniceMuhindi
Deputy Chief Justice Philomena Mwilu yesterday filed an application to set aside orders barring her from acting as Chief Justice.
However, Mwilu, through her lawyer Julie Soweto, filed the application at the Meru High Court, saying orders issued against her were far-reaching, draconian and extremely prejudicial ex parte.
Meru high Court Judge Patrick Otieno had on Friday ordered Mwilu to step aside as Deputy Chief Justice, Judge of the Supreme Court and member of Judicial Service Commission pending determination of a case filed by and anti-graft detective Isaiah Mwongela.
“A conservatory order is hereby issued against the First Respondent restraining her continued occupation of the offices of the Deputy Chief Justice, Judge of the Supreme Court and member of the Judicial Service Commission and Ombudsman of the Judiciary,” he order.
In her application, however, Mwilu says the orders were obtained without benefit of relevant and material facts germane to the court’s decision in granting the said ex parte orders.
According to Mwilu, the proceedings pending before JSC against her, upon which the petition and orders were predicated upon, are currently suspended by the High Court.
“The Petitioner failed to disclose the above relevant and material facts to the Honourable Court when he sought ex parte orders.
He knew or ought to have known of the existence of High Court Petition No. E245 of 2020, which renders the material nondisclosure of the relevant fact deliberate,” she says in court documents.
Mwilu contends that Mwongela also knew or ought to have known and failed to disclose that there is also another pending petition filed by activist Okiya Omtatah that raises substantially the same questions and issues in this Petition and proceedings.
She notes that on January 12, the High Court declined to issue substantially similar orders that had been sought to prohibit her from acting or continuing to act as the Chief Justice.