Kisii County Senator Chris Obure, former postmaster-general Francis Chahonyo and former Permanent Secretaries Dave Mwangi and Sammy Kyungu at the dock at Milimani law courts following keenly as their lawyer Kioko Kilukumi seeking termination of the charges against them.
A Nairobi Anti-corruption Magistrate court has been urged to terminate a 10 billion shillings Anglo leasing suit against former Government officials saying the charges they are facing are defective in law.
Lawyers Kioko Kilukumi and Chacha Odero raised a preliminary objection and urged the court to drop the graft charges leveled against Kisii County Senator Chris Obure, former postmaster-general Francis Chahonyo and former Permanent Secretaries Dave Mwangi and Sammy Kyungu.
They claimed that the cases are politically motivated and the Director of Public Prosecutions knows
Kilukumi told Milimani Senior Principal Magistrate Lawrence Mugambi that the defence is opposed to the legal validity of the charges facing the accused persons arguing that the charge sheet was defective.
State Counsels Nocholas Mutuku and Mungai Warui said the issues raised by defence were weighty and asked for time to study the application by the defence lawyers.
Kilukumi said the abuse of office and failure to follow laid down procedure charges leveled against Obure, Chahonyo, Mwangi and Kyungu were made pursuant to noncompliance to repealed sections of the law and the charges should be dropped.
“From the charge sheet the prosecution does not say which procurement procedure that was not followed. The law was amended and therefore the accused persons were charged unlawfully,” Kilukumi submitted.
Kilukumi said the prosecution instituted the charges aginst the four only after the government was forced to pay the Sh1.4 billion to Universal Satspace LLC of America and First Merchantile Securities Corporation.
“The prosecution of the accussed persons began in the so-called fight against corruption. The person who drafted the charges realized it could raise a red flag in purge aginst corruption,” Kilukumi argued.
Kilukumi said the four should have been charged before 2007 adding that the timing of their prosecution was suspect.
Kilukumi told the court that the Public Procurement and Disposal Act came into force after the alleged offences were said to have been committed and cannot be used to charge the four. Kilukumi further argued that the offences facing the accused are not punishable under the current law and urged the court to dismiss the case.
“The provisions of the law that the prosecution is using to charge the accused persons was repealed. The witness statements supplied to us refer to the Public Procurement and Disposal act was come into force in 2007” Kilukumi argued.
Bundotich was charged with abuse of office and conspiracy to defraud the Government. Obure and Kyungu have denied that on July 8, 2002, as Finance minister and Transport PS respectively, they authorised the Ministry of Transport to directly procure VSAT products from Spacenet inc without following the laid down procedures.
Kyungu and Chahonyo have also denied on March 22, 2002, they made procurement of VSAT products from Spacenet Inc for Data Network and Rural Internet Services Project for the Postal Corporation without again following the laid down procedure.
Bundotich has denied abuse of office and breach of trust charges for using authority of his office on July 11, 2002, to execute the payment on behalf of the government and First Mercantile Securities Corporation for the supply of the goods.
The magistrate will make a ruling on October 13 on whether to terminate the charges or not.