LEADERS IN MOURNING

Odek's death a blow to Kenya's judicial system - Uhuru, Raila

Odek was found dead on his bed Monday morning at his apartment in Kisumu.

In Summary

• Chief Justice David Maraga said he was 'deeply saddened by the sudden demise of Odek'.

• Judge Odek served as the Director of the Judiciary Training Institute from 2016 to 2018, having become a Judge of the Court of Appeal in 2012.

Justice James Otieno Odki
Justice James Otieno Odki
Image: COURTESY

President Uhuru Kenyatta and ODM leader Raila Odinga have mourned the passing on of Court of Appeal Judge Prof Justice James Otieno Odek.

The two leaders said the untimely death of Justice James Odek has robbed the Judiciary of a critical member at a very critical time for the country and its justice system.

Odek was found dead in his house on Monday morning in Kisumu county. The cause of his death has not yet been established.

The President said the death of Justice Odek is not only a big blow to his close family and the judiciary but also to the whole country which he served with commitment and dedication in the dispensation of justice without fear or favour.

“In this hour of sorrow and grief, I convey my deepest sympathies and heartfelt condolences to Prof Justice James Otieno Odek’s family, relatives and friends,” Uhuru said.

In a tweet, Raila wished peace and strength to the family and his professional colleagues during this trying period.

 
 

"My deep condolences to the family and friends of Court of Appeal Judge Prof Justice James Otieno Odek,' read the tweet.

 

"His untimely death robs the Judiciary of a critical member at a very critical time for our country and the Justice system."

Chief Justice David Maraga had earlier said he was 'deeply saddened by the sudden demise of Odek'.

"He was not only a distinguished Judge but also a prolific legal scholar who was widely published and celebrated across the continent and beyond," Maraga said in his condolence message.

"On behalf of the Judiciary, the Judicial Service Commission and on my own behalf, I wish to express our heartfelt condolences to the family, friends and the entire legal fraternity for this shocking loss."

Nyanza Regional Police Commander Dr Vincent Makokha confirmed Justice Odek was found dead in his house on Monday morning.

The judge stays in an apartment next to Kisumu Central Police Station.

 
 

Makokha said a team of investigators and a pathologist are currently at the scene.

The scene outside Groove Hut apartments where the body of Court of Appeal Judge Prof Justice James Otieno Odek was found on Monday, December 16, 2019.
The scene outside Groove Hut apartments where the body of Court of Appeal Judge Prof Justice James Otieno Odek was found on Monday, December 16, 2019.
Image: MAURICE ALAL

“I have sent officers to ascertain the incident before the body is removed to the mortuary,” he told the Star on phone.

Odek was found on his bed. He came in on Friday and was dropped by the driver.

The judge stayed alone at the Groove Hut apartment.

The house was locked from inside with the keys and the judge's phones inside. The TV was still on when the body was found.

" When the driver came to pick him he found the door locked. He went to report at Kisumu Central Police Station. The police had to break the door," Chief Magistrate Julius Ng'ang'a said.

Odek was born on October 18, 1963, in Eldoret Uasin Gishu county.

Judge Odek served as the Director of the Judiciary Training Institute from 2016 to 2018, having become a Judge of the Court of Appeal in 2012.


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