Lawyers Ojienda, Wanyama arrested, judge being sought over Mumias probe saga

Lawyer Tom Ojienda arrested over his involvement in the Mumias Sugar Company saga. [George Njunge/Standard]
Senior Counsel Tom Ojienda and Lawyer Peter Wanyama were Friday arrested over the ongoing probe into troubled Mumias Sugar Company.

It is alleged more than Sh200 million was lost in suspected corrupt deals at the firm.

Ojienda was arrested today afternoon outside Barclays Plaza in the Nairobi Central Business District. Reports say that his car was intentionally clamped before the arrest. 

Wanyama was picked from Ngong town. The two are being held at DCI headquarters, Kiambu where fellow lawyers trooped seeking their release on bail pending their arraignment.

A politician and a Court of Appeal judge are also being sought over the issue. The judge is said to have handled Mumias issues when he was in private practice.

But detectives handling the matter said they would seek the permission of Judicial Service Commission to handle the matter and later if possible hand him over for prosecution.

“We will seek to talk to the judge through JSC. The ultimate goal is prosecution which will happen after all,” a source said.

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The officers drawn from the Special Crimes Prevention Unit and Flying Squad are searching for a politician who remains at large.

“We have been to his houses but he is not there. He was spotted in the city in the morning but it seems he got wind of this and went under,” added another source.

The sources said the lawyers, politician and the judge will be questioned over a Sh200 million audit at the Mumias Sugar Company.

Former Nairobi Governor Evans Kidero’s lawyer Peter Wanyama arrested over corruption allegations.  [Beverlyne Musili/Standard]
DCI boss George Kinoti could not be reached for comment, but sources said he was personally supervising the operation to arrest the wanted suspects.

The sources said those arrested were likely to be locked up the entire weekend and presented in court on Monday.

The arrests were approved by DPP Noordin Haji, who last week received the investigation files on the matter.

A special team of investigators comprising officers from the DCI legal department and the ODPP has been investigating the suspected loss of Sh200 million from the sugar factory.

The arrest comes in the wake of a protracted court battle between Ojienda and the taxman over tax compliance.

The taxman has filed an appeal after High Court judge Wilfrida Okwany directed that KRA issue a tax compliance certificate at a time when the taxman is demanding Sh443.6 million arrears from the advocate.

Ojienda had sued KRA arguing that denying him tax clearance was calculated to sabotage his race to be voted as the lawyers’ representative at the JSC.

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Lawyer Tom Ojienda arrestedLawyer Peter WanyamaSenior Counsel Tom OjiendaMumias Sugar CompanyCorruption allegations