Former Cabinet secretaries Engineer Michael Kamau and Charity Ngilu before justice Onguto.
BY SAM ALFAN.
Former Cabinet secretaries Engineer Michael Kamau and Charity Ngilu will now face trials at the anti-corruption court.
This after the high court threw out their application seeking to stop corruption cases facing them.
A three judge bench led by Justice George Odunga ruled that even though the Ethics and Anti Corruption commission did not have a quorum when their cases commenced do no warrant stopping the trails of the two.
The court also ruled that the president overstepped his mandate when he directed EACC to conclude all corruption cases within 60 days.
While delivering his verdict on behalf of the three judge bench, Justice George Odunga said that the resignation of some commissioners including Chairman Mumo Matemu did not render the Ethics andAnti-Corruption Commission nonexistent even though there was no quorum of the commissioners.
He said that Kamau and Ngilu will have an opportunity to argue their case at the trial court which is capable of determining all that will be raised when the hearings commence.
Justice Odunga further says the directive by the president to have the files forwarded by the EACC to the Director of Public Prosecutions and giving a 60 day ultimatum to other constitutional bodies to discharge their mandates was unlawful as the president has the obligation to safeguard the constitution but instead exceeded his mandate.
Engineer Michael Kamau is facing corruption charges related to Kamukuywa-Kaptama-Kapsokwony-Kimili road contract in Western Kenya where proper procedures were not followed which led to massive embezzlement of funds. While Ngilu is charged with obstructing investigations into the 8 billion shillings Karen land saga.
Ngilu, Kamau and nine others tried to stop their prosecution, saying the EACC had no mandate to investigate. Justice Odunga, Mumbi Ngugi and Joseph Onguto said resignation of commission members did not render it non-existent, only limited its ability.
Ngilu is charged with obstructing the EACC’s investigations into the matter when she was Lands Minister.
Kamau on the other hand stands accused of wilfully failing to comply with applicable procedures and guidelines relating to the management of public funds, engaging in a project without prior planning, wilful failure to comply with the law relating to procurement and abuse of office.
The particulars of the offence are that he “ignored the design of the Kamukuywa-Kaptama-Kapsokwony-Sirisia Road which had been done by Engiconsult Consulting Engineers Limited at the cost of Sh33, 303,600 and entering into a Memorandum of Understanding under which the resident engineer redesigned the same road.”
Earlier Criminal case facing suspended Transport CS has was put in abeyance, pending the outcome of decision from the court of appeal.
Senior counsel Paul Muite and Edward Oonge who are representing CS Michael Kamau, told Anti-corruption court that, the high court having found that there are valid constitutional issues touching on integrity of Ethics and anti corruption commission an appeal was lodged in the appellate court.
They lawyers told Chief Magistrate Lawrence Mugambi that the appeal has been argued and is awaiting the ruling on 16 October 2015, which the court is likely to stay the proceedings before the trial Court.
Justice Mumbi Ngugi had in her ruling found that there are weighty issues raised by the suspended CS which will be determined by a bench to be appointed by the Chief Justice.
Justice Ngugi did not stay proceedings before the trial court, but held that CS had established he has a good case challenging the EACC decision to recommend his prosecution by the director of public prosecution.
The trial magistrate allowed the application seeking commencement of the hearing of the criminal case until the court of appeal deliver its ruling.
The court directed that the hearing proceed on October 26, after the communication from the appellate court.
Mr Kamau became the first senior Government official in the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission List of Shame to face graft charges.
The CS is out cash bail of Sh 3 million. His co-accused, Ng’anga, also denied the charges and was released on similar terms while the third accused, Kaka Matemu Kithyo, was released on a a cash bail ofSh600, 000
The prosecution alleges CS Kamau on March 15, 2008, conspired with Ministrial Tender Committee members by allegedly ignoring Government regulations and re-designed the Kamukuywa-Kapsokwony-Sirisia road leading to a loss of Sh33, 303,600.
Kamau has since denied colluding with officials of the Kundan Singh Construction Company, which built the road, to trash the consultant’s design thereby resulting in massive embezzlement of the public funds.
The CS and Nga’ng’a also denied abuse of office charges. The prosecution alleges they used their offices to cause the road to be re-designed despite its earlier design by EngiConsult Consulting Engineers Limited.