Lenolkulal, Jumwa could be off the hook as DPP moves to clear them

Former Samburu Governor Moses Lenolkulal and former Malindi MP Aisha Jumwa (Right) [The Standard]

The Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) has applied to withdraw Sh80 million corruption case against former Samburu Governor Moses Lenolkulal.

Trial magistrate Thomas Nzioki, however, declined to withdraw the charges, saying the prosecution must give valid reasons explaining why Lenolkulal should be let off the hook.

In the case, a company associated with Lenolkulal is accused by the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission (EACC) of illegally receiving Sh80 million of Samburu County funds between 2013 and 2018.

"Prior to the institution of the suit, the commission froze Sh14 million and properties in Karen, Nairobi purchased for Sh60 million, which were determined to have been purchased with funds from the illegal contracts founded on conflict of interest," EACC said in a past statement.

Nzioki has now asked the DPP to file an application justifying why he wants to terminate the case.

Lenolkulal, the governor of Samburu County between 2013 and 2022, was among the 585 people who were shortlisted for the 49 principal secretary jobs.

At the same time, the DPP has applied to withdraw graft charges against former Malindi MP Aisha Jumwa, who is the Public Service and Gender Cabinet Secretary (CS) nominee.

Jumwa, who is accused alongside Kennedy Otieno Ojwang, Robert Katana Wanje, Wachu Omar Abdalla, Margret Faith Kalume, Benard Riba Kai and Sophia Said Charo, was charged with the embezzlement of Sh19 million, funds meant for the Malindi Constituency Development Fund.

Jumwa allegedly embezzled the money through proxies and a network of companies to buy an apartment in Nairobi.

During the mention of the case on Wednesday, October 12, the prosecution, through lawyer Alex Akula, applied to have Jumwa's name struck off the charge sheet.

Mombasa Chief Magistrate Martha Mutuku asked the DPP to present a new charge sheet on October 17 that would allow Jumwa's six co-accused take fresh pleas.

If approved by the National Assembly, Jumwa will succeed Prof. Margaret Kobia in the Public Service and Gender docket.