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Haji lays bare status of 13 high profile cases amid differences with Kinoti

By Josphat Thiong’o | October 25th 2021

The Director of Public Prosecutions Noordin Haji during a previous interview. He has given a blow by blow account of 13 high profile cases and their status. [Edward Kiplimo, Standard]

The Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions has laid bare the status of 13 high profile cases pending before court and those yet to be cleared for prosecution or dismissed.

This comes after the Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI) boss George Kinoti accused the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) Noordin Haji of stalling the cases with tremendous public interest.

The two have been engaged in a public tiff over prosecution of cases, even as they are set to appear before the National Security and Administration committee in two weeks to shed light on the cases.

Among the cases said to have escalated the clash is the murder of businessman Tob Cohen, where his wife Sarah Cohen, is the key suspect.

In documents seen by The Standard, Haji, however, gives a blow by blow audit of the status of each case including that of Cohen that was scheduled for hearing between 6-15 July, 2020, after plea was taken on October 3, 2019.

However, due to the Covid-19 pandemic, it was taken out of the cause list.

The DPP further justified a decision to decline a request by the DCI to charge Justice Sankale ole Kantai over the murder of the businessman.

Businessmna Tob Cohen. [Courtesy]

This, he said, is after a review of the case file revealed no direct evidence linking the suspect to the murder. 

“Vide a letter dated 9/06/2021, the decision declining to charge the suspect was communicated to the DCI,” said Haji. This case has seen the lawyers in the Cohen case petition the Judiciary Service Commission (JSC) to seek the removal of the judge.

Another case is one involving former National Treasury Cabinet Secretary Henry Rotich where he was charged with engaging in a project without prior planning.

The case relates to the irregular award of Sh20.5 billion contracts for construction of dams.

Haji noted that contrary to the allegations, the matter is pending for hearing of an application for consolidation of the two cases - ACC No 20 of 2019 and ACC 18 of 2019. The application is scheduled for hearing tomorrow.

“Additionally, ACC E008 of 2021 R Vs CMC De Ravena & Others that is related to the matters is scheduled for highlighting of submissions on November  10, 2021, on an application by the suspects to have the charges quashed. There are pending warrants of arrest against the suspects yet to be executed by the DCI,” added the document.

There is also a case file relating to an inquiry by the DCI on Ekeza Sacco. The inquiry relates to allegations of misappropriation of funds at Ekeza Sacco Society by top officials.

Members of Ekeza Sacco protesting at Capital Hill. [Phillip Orwa, Standard]

“On December 3, 2019, the DPP requested for a joint meeting with the DCI to discuss critical issues including restitution and/or compensation of the monies lost by the victims and the file was resubmitted to DCI,” read the document.

“On March 22, 2021, the DCI indicated that they have no mandate to promote reconciliation. This notwithstanding, the DPP cannot make any directions as the file is still with the DCI,” it added.

On the Kenya Informal Settlement Improvement Project, the DCI had opened an inquiry file over allegations of alteration of tender documents by the evaluation and tender committee. Haji noted that his office concurred with the DCI’s recommendations that there was no criminal culpability on the suspects.

Consequently, the inquiry file was returned to the DCI with the recommendation that the matter be referred to the Public Procurement Regulatory Authority (PPRA) for administrative action.

The DPP also pronounced himself on a case involving Homa Bay County where the DCI had opened an inquiry into allegations of massive fraud by county employees. 

After perusing the file, it was re-submitted to the DCI for further investigations on March 30, 2020, having highlighted 14 critical cover areas the DCI was to cover. The same is however pending response from the DCI since 2020.

A case involving Malindi MP Aisha Jumwa where she is accused of misappropriation of funds from Malindi CDF and county government and fraudulent acquisition of Sh2.5 million is scheduled for a mention on December 3, 2021.

Malindi MP Aisha Jumwa. [Kelvin Karani, Standard]

According to the document, a case involving Kenya Pipeline for the replacement Project Line 1 is still pending at the DCI’s office.

This is after the sleuths opened an inquiry over the award of a contract by KPA to Zakhem International Construction Company for USD 484,502,514.43 (Sh54 billion). The contract was for the replacement of line 1 (Mombasa-Nairobi) pipeline vide contract dated July 1, 2014.

Another case is the Omeriye Education and Medical Foundation which relates to suspected money laundering by trustees. The DPP states that on December 10, 2020, the file was returned to the DCI for further investigations but on February 24, 2021, the DCI recommended that the matter be closed.

The matter of former Kenya Power MD Ben Chumo is scheduled for further hearing from November 2-4, 2021. The matter involves allegations supply of substandard transformers by MUWA Trading Company Limited to Kenya Power for US$4,081,920.29 (Sh450 million).

The Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission is also investigating a case involving allegations of fraud and money laundering by staff of County Government of Kajiado.

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