The DCI and DPP have powers to investigate and prosecute. Judicial officers — magistrates and judges — are no exception.
However, there’s a precedent. Unless it’s a crime of a personal nature causing bodily harm or anything requiring immediate police action — as for GBM Kariuki — all other cases have been handled through the Judicial Service Commission.
The case of DCJ Nancy Baraza, which was essentially a criminal complaint, was not pursued through the DCI. The JSC itself picked it, reviewed it and recommended formation of a tribunal. This was also the case for Justices Joseph Mutava and Philip Tunoi.
This was a big surprise because of the manner in which DCJ Philomena Mwilu was raised in the Daily Nation for the last three days. The reports tended to indicate the DCI was investigating a very serious crime of abuse of office, corruption and tax evasion.
However, the charge is a clear case of commercial transaction between a judge and a bank.
Therefore, it’s baffling why the DCI decided to take such a serious case that had the effect of demeaning the DCJ’s office. It was neither a serious nor a criminal matter.
From what we’ve reviewed, this is clearly a civil dispute between Imperial Bank, which is under receivership, and the judge.
Further, the properties she is claimed to have purchased without paying stamp duty were all acquired before she became DCJ. By the time she was being vetted, she received clearances from KRA, EACC and the DCI.
I highly doubt they lacked capacity to unearth these alleged crimes. Or does it mean the crimes were not there, and have just been created?
Graft must be fought to extinction. But you cannot fight impunity with impunity. At this rate, independent institutions will be misused.
Here it appears the DCI and the DPP have been working in cahoots. Yet, one is suppose to investigate and the other look at the investigations and make an independent decision. When they work together, where is the objectivity?
Lawyer Nelson Havi
As Published in the Star