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KACC case against former council official stopped

By | February 24th 2009

By Evelyn Kwamboka

The Kenya Anti-Corruption Commission suffered a setback when the highest court stopped a case involving councillors.

Court of Appeal stopped the Kibera Magistrate’s Court from proceeding with the criminal case against former Nairobi City Council acting treasurer, George Wambua.

The court ordered that the proceedings stop until an appeal he has lodged against High Court Judge Joseph Nyamu’s decision is heard and determined.

Mr Wambua was charged with abuse of office over a tour by councillors to Italy and Egypt in 2003.

But appellate Judges Philip Tunoi and Philip Waki ruled in his favour, while Justice Erastus Githinji ruled against.

Expensive trial

"If I do not grant a stay and the appeal were to succeed, the applicant would undergo an expensive trial which could result in him being sent to prison," Justice Tunoi said.

Justice Waki said he had the advantage of reading the judge’s draft ruling and agreed with the conclusion.

But Justice Githinji differed, saying Wambua’s application to stop the proceedings was outside the Court of Appeal rules.

Wambua moved to the Court of Appeal after Justice Nyamu dismissed his judicial review application.

In his application, Wambua wanted the court to prohibit the Kibera Principal Magistrate’s court from taking evidence or conducting proceedings in a KACC case against him, until his appeal was heard and determined.

Through his advocate, Mr Elijah Ongoya, Wambua had argued that KACC’s decision to charge him with abuse of office under the Anti-Corruption and Economic Crimes Act violated the personal immunity guaranteed to him under the Local Government Act.

KACC is alleged to have instituted charges against the former acting treasurer for paying councillors full per diem without approval from the PS.

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