Court of Appeal Judge Prof. Otieno Odek collapsed and died in Kisumu on the morning of Monday, December 16.
According to a report by Citizen TV, the family of the judge confirmed that he collapsed while in his house in the lakeside city. It was not clear what caused his death.
He was sworn into the Court of Appeal bench in 2012.
The judge applied for the Supreme Court job in 2011 but did not sail through.
Chief Justice David Maraga mourned the deceased as a widely published and celebrated author across the continent and beyond.
"He was not only a distinguished judge but also a prolific legal scholar who was widely published and celebrated across the continent and beyond," he stated.
Justice Odek made headlines in December 2018 when Director of Public Prosecutions Noordin Haji disclosed that he was lined up to testify against lawyer Tom Ojienda.
Haji noted that the Appeals court judge was a partner in the firm of Professor Otieno Odek- Professor Tom Ojienda and Wanyama Advocates.
Ojienda was under investigation in connection with the affairs of Mumias Sugar Company.
Haji, in the statement, noted that Prof Odek had offered a statement to the investigators at his own volition.
"However, investigations into the matter have been concluded and a decision to charge Professor Tom Ojienda made on the basis of the available evidence. Indeed, Professor James Otieno Odek was not in any way involved in the matters giving rise to the prosecution of Tom Ojienda and is therefore not criminally culpable.
"Following our analysis of the statement provided by the Judge, we have decided that he shall be a prosecution witness in the case against Prof Ojienda," stated Haji.
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