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Explain why you let Jumwa, Lenolkulal off the hook, LSK to DPP

LSK President Eric Theuri (centre) with Vice-President Faith Odhiambo (right) during a press conference in Nairobi on October 13, 2022. [David Gichuru, Standard]

The Law Society of Kenya (LSK) President Eric Theuri says the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) Noordin Haji owes Kenyans an explanation for dropping charges against graft suspects allied to President William Ruto.

Theuri, in a Thursday press conference at the LSK offices on Gitanga Road in Nairobi, gave Haji a three-day ultimatum to explain the reasons, failure of which they would institute private prosecution against the suspects.

“The society asks the DPP to publicly reveal the reasons for the discontinuation of the cases if the public [members] are to restore confidence in the office of the DPP. We similarly call on the Judiciary, especially the magistrates handling the cases, to ask the DPP to provide a justification before allowing the discontinuation of the charges,” he said.

Theuri further urged the National Assembly, which is preparing to vet Cabinet Secretary nominees starting Monday, October 17 to reject those with questionable reputation.

“I want to call on parliamentarians to rise to the occasion and ensure that they do not kill provisions of leadership and integrity contained in Chapter Six of the Constitution. Parliament should do the right thing by rejecting Cabinet nominees with integrity issues,” said the LSK boss.

The lawyer said the DPP ought to have considered the implication of his decisions before dropping charges against the graft suspects.

“Withdrawal of charges portends a grave danger to the administration of justice, and which must be addressed immediately if we are to maintain faith in our institutions,” said Theuri.

On Wednesday, October 12, DPP Haji sought to drop charges against former Samburu Governor Moses Lenolkulal, who is facing Sh80 million corruption case.

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.

The DPP also requested that corruption charges against  ex-Malindi MP Aisha Jumwa be dropped.

Jumwa, the Gender CS nominee, is accused of 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.

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

The DPP also applied to withdraw charges against former Kenya Power Managing Director Ben Chumo and 10 others after police allegedly failed to conduct conclusive investigations.

The ex-Kenya Power leaders had been arraigned over the Sh400 million transformers scandal.