The Director of Public Prosecution (DPP) has formally applied to the High Court to bar Siaya Senator James Orengo (pictured) from representing clients in court while still serving in the Senate.
In December last year, the DPP made an oral application against Mr Orengo’s defence of Kenya Ports Authority (KPA) Managing Director Daniel Manduku in a petition challenging his investigation by the Directorate of Criminal Investigation (DCI).
Following protest by the senator, the DPP was ordered to make a formal application which he filed yesterday with affidavits and legal authorities laying the statutory and constitutional grounds challenging his (Orengo) representation of clients.
Justice Erick Ogola adjourned the case to allow Orengo reply to the DPP’s documents. The senator lamented that the DPP “ambushed” him with the documents in court yesterday and pleaded for reasonable time to prepare defence.
In an oral rebuttal in December he dismissed the DPP’s petition describing it as an attempt to revive or appeal a matter he had lost in other courts.
“My Lords the DPP served me with these authorities today and I have not had time to go through them. I am therefore asking for adjournment to enable me prepare myself adequately,” said Orengo.
The judge ordered the parties to file their documents within seven days and serve before hearing of the application on March 4. Senior Assistant DPP Alex Muteti did not oppose Orengo’s application for adjournment.
The DPP in their application want the court to stop the senator from representing Manduku on account of conflict of interest.
An affidavit sworn by Wakio Mwamburi argues that since Orengo is a state officer by being virtue of being Senate Minority Leader, and he should not represent the MD who is being investigated for alleged loss of public funds and abuse of office.
“The petitioner in petition number 204 of 2019 Daniel Ogwoka Manduku being Managing Director of KPA in under investigation for alleged loss of public funds and abuse of office,” said Mwamburi. The DPP argued that the issue under investigation is the use or misuse of public funds and Parliament, through Public Investment and Public Accounts Committee will have direct interest in establishing whether there was prudent spending of funds.
“That being so, it cannot be that MPs appear in courts of law to stop lawful processes of investigation and prosecutions in the interest of their clients while sacrificing public interest,” said Mwamburi.