DPP Haji: EACC, DCI have no capacity to probe graft

Director of Public Prosecution Noordin Haji addressing the press at his office. [Beverlyne Musili/Standard]
The Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) has questioned abilities of two Government agencies to investigate corruption.

DPP Noordin Haji yesterday said evidence by Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission (EACC) and the Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI) against three governors accused of corruption was not enough to warrant prosecution.

Four county chiefs were investigated after claims that they engaged in the vice.

Haji said files touching on the governors had been sent back to EACC so the agency could seal the loopholes.

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Haji revealed that his office was unable to prosecute the governors because of weak evidence.

He told the Senate’s Justice, Legal Affairs and Human Rights Committee yesterday that most of the cases the agencies had investigated had glaring gaps that could see them collapse.

Last week, EACC told MPs it had submitted overwhelming evidence against the county bosses that would result into conviction.

“The truth of the matter is there were gaps. Where there are gaps, we will point out and turn to EACC and ask them to do further investigation and bring evidence. In some instances, as we have noted, there is oversight or some of the gaps are so pertinent such that we cannot prosecute a case,” said Haji.

And while addressing journalists, Haji said he would not prosecute suspects unless there is compelling evidence.

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He said there were other corruption cases involving billions of shillings, whose files his office was forced to return due to poor investigation by the State agencies.

The DPP told the team chaired by Senator Samson Cherargei (Nandi) that EACC and the DCI had no capacity to investigate complex financial crimes. “To be frank, EACC and DCI, in certain areas, do lack expertise and we are working to build capacities, especially on complex financial crimes,” he told the MPs.

He said he had received 57 files from EACC, with most of the cases involving petty offenders. Haji called for stiffer penalties against banks used as conduits of proceeds of corruption even as he disclosed that part of corruption cash was stashed in Mauritius banks.

He said at least 10 banks were being investigated in the National Youth Service scandal for allowing transactions of huge sums of money against banking laws. “There must be conspiracy between these banks and those involved in corruption as well as public officials. There are guidelines on how banks can flag suspicious transactions,” said the DPP.

The committee commended the DPP for his efforts, but cautioned him against being ‘swallowed’ by the system. “Be true to the course. Some start on a high note but get swallowed along the way,” said Siaya Senator James Orengo.

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dpp noordin hajiethics and anti-corruption commissiondirectorate of criminal investigationscriminal casescorruption casescorruption scandals