Tobiko denies bias claims over NYS prosecutions

By: STELLA CHERONO

Director of Public Prosecutions Keriako Tobiko has denied claims his office is biased and being politically manipulated in the prosecution of National Youth Service (NYS) officials.

Mr Tobiko, citing political statements covered by the media, said his office makes decisions based on evidence and the law.

“Allegations of compromise and other ulterior considerations by my office in the execution of my high public duty are completely baseless and unwarranted,” Mr Tobiko said.

On Tuesday, Cord leader Raila Odinga called the prosecution of Principal Secretary Peter Mangiti an attempt to cover up for the beneficiaries of corruption at the NYS.

Mr Raila said the speedy decision to prosecute Mr Mangiti and NYS Director-General Nelson Githinji was a cover-up for the highest beneficiaries of the Sh791 million loss and the conspiracy to steal another Sh695 million.

He had initially criticised the manner in which the government has handled the loss of the money and demanded the suspension of Devolution Cabinet Secretary Anne Waiguru, who, he claimed, was protected by State House.

But Mr Tobiko, in a statement, said the “unfortunate allegations” were political and unacceptable.

“There is now an emerging trend on the part of the political elite to politicise what is an otherwise legal process.

“Our fidelity is to the constitution and the law. Politicians should not drag our legal process into parochial political theatrics that only serve to defeat justice,” Mr Tobiko added.

Mr Tobiko had on Monday recommended the immediate prosecution of Mr Mangiti and Dr Githinji over fraudulent electronic financial transactions at the NYS.

The DPP outlined seven criminal offences he said were committed at the NYS, recommending the two be prosecuted alongside a businessman, Benson Gethi Muchemi.

The three, according to Mr Tobiko, also tried to intimidate a NYS senior deputy director-general in charge of administration, Mr Adan Gedo Harakhe, so he could not report and follow up with the Directorate of Criminal Investigations over the conspiracy to steal Sh695 million from the NYS.

Mr Tobiko accuses them of tampering with a public officer, stealing, conspiracy to defraud the NYS of Sh791 million, engaging in organised criminal activities, making a false document and abuse of office.

Since the revelation of the scandal at the NYS, several political leaders have called for the removal of Ms Waiguru from office.

Early last week, Mr Mangiti and Ms Waiguru were questioned for several hours by the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission.

Ms Waiguru’s lawyer, Mr Ahmednasir Abdullahi, said that Ms Waiguru would at best be a witness in the case.

SOURCE: DAILY NATION