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CBK boss to file contempt proceedings against EACC

By Stephen Makabila

Central Bank of Kenya (CBK) Governor Njuguna Ndung’u is to file contempt proceedings against the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission (EACC) over a case before the High Court.

The CBK Governor, through his lawyer Donald B Kipkorir, has written to the EACC Secretary/Chief Executive Officer Halakhe Waqo, detailing the intent to sue over a recent media report.

The letter dated April 23, 2014, seen by The Standard on Sunday, was copied to the Chief Justice Willy Mutunga and the EACC chairman Mumo Matemu and others.

The letter referred to Nairobi High Court Petition No 73 OF 2014, pending before Lady Justice Ngugi.

The media report in a local daily (not The Standard), had indicated the EACC has protested the way in which a hearing in February, around its intended prosecution of Governor Ndung’u, was moved at the last minute from one judge to another.

No explanation

The anti-graft commission reportedly wrote to Mutunga, questioning why the file for an application by Prof Ndung’u seeking to stop his arrest and prosecution for abuse of office was withdrawn from Lady Justice Mumbi Ngugi and handed to Justice David Majanja without explanation.

But lawyer Kipkorir, in his letter noted “the article intended to litigate on a matter in court on issues you have not pleaded nor submitted.”

He said “we are taking instructions from our client with a view to bringing contempt proceedings against yourselves.”

Kipkorir went on: “In the foregoing, and pursuant to Article 35 of the Constitution, we demand copies of all correspondence exchanged between yourself and the Chief Justice relating to the case. Note that the article makes access to such information mandatory, especially when they affect protection of rights of an individual, or for purposes of correcting untrue or misleading statement. For avoidance of doubt, no one is above the law. We are all under the Constitution.”

He pointed out in his letter that the media report stated inter alia  that EACC alleges that the tender award to Horsebridge was inflated by CBK by as much as Sh400 million. Two, that on February 14, 2014 when the matter was coming up for mention for direction, the file was moved from Lady Justice Mumbi Ngugi to Justice David Majanja unprocedurally. Three, that the undersigned informed your representative that the matter is before Justice David Majanja and four, that conservatory orders issued without the parties being heard.

Prof Ndung’u has challenged a decision by the Director of Public Prosecution Keriako Tobiko giving EACC the go-ahead to charge him over irregularities in a Sh1.2 billion security systems tender.

Nairobi Resident Judge Mumbi Ngugi had it in March. The judge ordered the parties to appear for hearing on May 14. She extended orders stopping EACC and DPP from prosecuting the Governor pending the determination of his petition.