The High Court has ordered the Government to reimburse Sh23.7 million in fines paid by three former county government officials convicted of corruption.
The order comes as graft cases continue to crumble as a result of the vacuum at the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Comission (EACC) in 2015.
The three former county executives - John Maina (Lands and Infrastructure), Martin Wamwea (Finance and Economic Planning) and Simon Kagiri (chief of staff) are the latest to benefit from the resignation of EACC boss Mumo Matemu, vice chairperson Irene Keino and Commissioner Jane Onsongo.
In following the precedent set by the Court of Appeal that stopped the prosecution of former Transport Cabinet Secretary Michael Kamau, Justice Teresia Matheka said the three should be given back their money after ruling that EACC was not properly constituted when it instituted graft charges against them.
The judge said the discharge of an accused person did not bar the prosecution from bringing fresh charges against the same accused on the same facts.
A magistrate’s court found the three guilty of flouting procurement laws and using their positions to improperly confer Pleng Ltd a Sh3.75 million benefit to offer consultancy audit services for roads and civil works.
They were ordered to pay back Sh7.5 million each, double the Sh3, 756,962 that the county lost through corrupt deals, plus an additional fine of Sh400, 000 or three years in prison.
State counsel Kennedy Magoma opposed the release of the fines, saying the Director of Public Prosecutions had filed an appeal against the judge’s verdict.