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Court of Appeal judge Justice Odek found dead in his house

Court of Appeal Judge Prof Justice James Otieno Odek is dead.

Confirming the incident, Nyanza Regional Police Commander Dr Vincent Makokha said Justice Odek was found dead in his house on Monday morning.

A team of investigators are currently at the scene to conduct investigation before the body is moved to the mortuary.

The President of the Supreme Court, Justice David Maraga, while sending his message of condolence message to the family of the deceased, said Prof Odek was a prolific legal scholar who was celebrated across the continent and beyond.

“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,” Justice Maraga said in his statement.

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

According to Kisumu Chief Magistrate Julius Ng’arng’ar, Prof Odek was last seen on Friday.

He was not responding to phone calls asking him to report to duty this morning.

Prof Odek’s driver, having not reached him on phone this morning, alerted his colleagues and court staff. The police then came to his house.

LOCKED HOUSE

The house was found 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,” Mr Ng’arng’ar

“He was facing up and was covered normally like someone who is asleep. Preliminary investigations revealed that there wasn’t any struggle but the pathologist will issue a comprehensive statement,” said Chief Magistrate Ng’arng’ar

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

He was sworn in as a Court of Appeal Judge in 2012.

Prof Odek came to the limelight in December last year during the trial of lawyer Tom Ojienda over the massive corruption at Mumias Sugar Company.

It is alleged more than Sh200 million was lost in suspected corrupt deals at the firm. This happened during the tenure of former Nairobi Governor Evans Kidero who was the CEO of Mumias Sugar.