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Details of Judge behind Mwilu suspension, and his dirty dealings with Mombasa Arab tycoon unearthed.

Barely days after the Meru High Court Judge, Judge Patrick Otieno, ordered Acting Chief Justice Philomena Mwilu to step aside as Deputy Chief Justice pending determination of a case, it is now emerging that the Judge himself has been struggling to balance a scandal ridden career, and had only just been recently moved to Meru by the Retired Chief Justice, David Maraga.

Reports have surfaced of a case in which he was presiding over, and made a pretty controversial ruling that caused one of the litigants to forward him to a Judicial disciplinary committee.

In the case, the owner of Ganjoni properties, a real estate giant, was claiming rent arrears worth months of unpaid dues from his tenant, Rehan Malik, a car dealership tycoon from Mombasa who had rented one of his properties as a car showroom. After failing to get the money from Rehan, the owner of the building confiscated Rehan’s cars and sold them. Rehan went to court, but the Judge, who was Judge Patrick Otieno, turned down Rehan’s request to have Ganjoni properties compensate him.

However, it is alleged that, after Rehan had an inappropriate dealing with him outside court, Judge Patrick Otieno then gave orders that went contrary to his earlier order, and compelled the real estate landlord to pay up. Ganjoni properties has since moved to court, with a disciplinary case against the Judge.

Interestingly, this isn’t the only disciplinary case that the Judge is facing. He is entangled in yet another case where he is accused by the Bank of Africa. In its petition, the judge was accused of being biased by giving ex parte orders (orders given by a judge in the presence of one party) and they faulted the judge for allegedly defying the ruling by the Court of Appeal which had dismissed the case. The Bank of Africa claims Otieno gave a ruling in which the judge prevented the bank from selling properties charged as security for loans. The bank claimed that it incurred losses as a result of the ruling.

What is most baffling in the whole case, however, is that Philomena Mwilu is part of the committee hearing the Ganjoni properties case, and it is curious why the JSC would assign a case to a Judge who is presiding over a disciplinary case of the same Judge.

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    Written by Joshua Wanga

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