DPP rejects county official’s plea over corruption case

By: FAITH NYAMAI

The Director of Public Prosecutions on Wednesday opposed a request seeking to stop a Chief Magistrate from hearing an Anti-corruption case against three Nyeri County government officials accused of fraudulently paying over Sh 3million to a company.

According to the DPP, the request sought was meant to delay the prosecution of the executive secretary for land and infrastructure Mr John Maina, finance, economy and planning’s Mr Martin Wamwea and Chief of staff Mr Simon Kagiri.

“That request is misguided,” Mr Festus Njue for the DPP said.

The three officials had moved to the High Court to stop the Nyeri County government from suspending or commencing disciplinary action against them following the allegations before the Anti-Corruption Court.

Mr Maina, Mr Wamwea and Mr Kagiri are facing six counts of charges relating to procurement and abuse of office as well as failure to comply with applicable procedures of management of funds.

They allegedly made an improper Sh 3,756,962.37 payment to Pleng Limited.

In their application, they are also challenging the constitutionality of the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission.

But EACC said that it has a legal mandate to make necessary recommendations with regards to matters prosecution.

Through lawyer Edward Oonge, the three officials claimed that EACC had written to the Nyeri County government in a July 13 letter which directed that the three be suspended pending the corruption cases.

And now they wanted the High Court to stop the EACC from recommending and seeking approval of the charges against them.

They also want the DPP stopped from preferring the charges against them.

They have sued the Chief Magistrate, EACC and the DPP while the Nyeri county government is listed as an interested party.

When they first moved to court last week, High Court judge Njoki Mwangi declined to grant them any reprieve orders and instead directed the matter to be heard on Wednesday.

And on Wednesday, Justice Jairus Ngaah directed that the Chief Magistrate be given copies of the case documents before a further hearing on August 11.