Muchanga Investment Limited lawyers Cecil Miller leaving Milimani law courts after the hearing of application seeking orders to stay the graft case against Konzolo.
BY SAM ALFAN.
Muchanga Investment Limited opposed application by former National Social Security Fund managing Trustee Josephat Konzolo seeking to halt criminal proceedings pending before anti- corruption court. The company through its lawyers Cecil Miller and Peter Wena has raised preliminary objection by Konzolo who has moved to the high court Environment and Land Court seeking orders to stay the graft case against him. When the case came for mention yesterday before justice Lucy Nyambura Gacheru, Mr Miller informed the court that he has already filed preliminary objection to the application. He said their objection is that Environment and Land Court being a specialized court under the constitution of Kenya does not have jurisdiction to entertain or determine of criminal proceedings commenced in Anti-Corruption case against Konzolo. In his brief submissions, Miller told the court that the supervisory jurisdiction of the High Court under the constitution and other statutory provisory and rules made .Also suspended CS Charity Ngilu has enjoined in the application as interested party in the case. She is being represented by lawyers Paul Muite and Kioko Kilukumi. However, the judge directed all parties involved to file and exchange written submissions within 10 days and return back to court on September 3, for highlighting of their submissions. In the application Konzolo through his company Telesource.com limited, said there are two pending matter before the High Court touching on the anti-corruption case relating to the dispute of ownership of the Sh 8 billion Karen land. He told the court through his lawyer Stephen Gikera, that since Environmental and Land division is yet to make a decision as who owns the suit land the subject matter of the criminal case that is set for hearing at anti- corruption court on November 3, 2015 should be stayed to await the outcome of High Court’s decision. In his earlier submissions Gikera said that there is also a pending petition by suspended CS Ngilu which has been referred to Chief Justice Willy Mutunga to appoint a bench to determine the constitutionality and legality of Ethics and Anti- Corruption Commission which made recommendation for his prosecution. He said that the two High Court divisions are likely to come up with conflicting decisions, saying already some officers from the ministry of Lands who have been charged have given evidence in the civil suit filed by Muchanga Investment who claim ownership of the suit land. “The director of public prosecutions has taken a position diametrically opposed to the stand taken by the Attorney General in the civil proceedings by recommending the prosecution of Mr Konzolo and his company,” Gikera submitted. The court heard that the actions of DPP to charge some of the defendants in the civil suit is clearly an abuse of the legal process which act is aimed at giving unfair advantage to one of the parties in both civil and constitutional cases. He urged the court to exercise its discretion and intervene by issuing orders staying the criminal case pending the hearing and determination of the application seeking to quash the matter before the anti- corruption court. Konzolo CS Ngilu and several senior officials from the ministry of Lands were arraigned in court facing charges of corruption and abuse office in relation to Karen land, saying that ownership of the suit property is the central issue pending before the civil court which was instituted long before the criminal case. September 15, saying that there will be no prejudice to be suffered by the DPP if the criminal case is stayed, pending determination of the matters before the high court. The court heard that the office of the AG has taken a position that the disputed Karen land according to available government records is registered in the name of the Telesource .com limited