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Justice Odek to testify against former partner Ojienda : The Standard



Court of Appeal Judges Prof. Otieno Odek and Patrick Kiage in a past court session. DPP has said that Odek (R) will not be investigated but will be a witness in probe of Mumias Sugar Company affairs. [File, Standard]

The Director of Public Prosecutions Noordin Haji has revealed that Court of Appeal judge Otieno Odek will testify against his former partner Tom Ojienda.

Ojienda, a senior counsel, was set to be charged with fraud over alleged Sh89m he received as legal fees from Mumias Sugar Company.
In a statement, the DPP says Justice Odek, who was a partner at the firm of Otieno Odek, Tom Ojienda and Wanyama Advocates, is not under investigation in connection with the affairs of the sugar company as reported by the media.
But Mr Haji says the judge “provided a statement to investigators of his own volition.”

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“Investigations into the matter have concluded and a decision to charge Prof. Tom Ojienda made on the available evidence. Indeed Prof. James Otieno Odek (JA) was not in any way involved in the matters giving rise to the prosecution of Prof. Tom Ojienda and is therefore not criminally culpable,” Haji said.
The DPP plans to charge Ojienda with the loss of Sh89m from Mumias Sugar Company.
He is accused of faking court proceedings to obtain money as legal fees from the sugar miller.
The advocate is facing charges of fraud and obtaining money under false pretense together with his co-accused Peter Kibati (ex-finance director) and Emily Otieno (ex-company secretary).
They will also answer to charges of abuse of office and uttering false documents.

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Prof Ojienda was freed from Muthaiga Police Station, Nairobi, on Sunday night where he has been held since his arrest on Friday evening.
His release came in wake of Law Society of Kenya’s (LSK) criticism of a trend to arrest suspects on Fridays, a move it says may be aimed at keeping them in police custody over the weekend.
LSK President Allen Gichuhi said powerful lawyers lobby would file a petition to challenge Friday arrests and address the issue of freeing suspects on police bonds, especially if they are not flight risks.
Mr Gichuhi was among those who called for the release of Ojienda on bond pending arraignment, saying the senior counsel cooperated with police during the search at his office.
The DPP maintains that Prof Ojienda was paid Sh89 million in fraudulent schemes that involved fake court proceedings orchestrated to get legal fees from the struggling sugar miller.

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“This inquiry file relates to allegations of use of fake court proceedings, number and parties spread across the country in different courts that were used by several legal service providers to obtain monies, as legal fees, from Mumias Sugar Company,” the DPP says.
Prof Ojienda, who is vying to represent the LSK in the Judicial Service Commission, has denied the accusations claiming his arrest reeks of malice and bad faith.

Tom OjiendaOtieno OdekNoordin HajiMumias Sugar CompanyDPP

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