BY SAM ALFAN.
A former legal officer at the anti-graft body has lost bid to stop his prosecution over claims that he solicited a bribe of Sh15 million bribe to stop investigations on alleged tax evasion at Mwananchi Credit Limited.
In a ruling delivered on her behalf by Justice Mumbi Ngugi, judge Hedwig Ong’undi dismissed the application by Anthony Juma Opondo saying it lacked merit.
“After evaluating all the material presented before the court the EACC has finalized investigations and forwarded the file to the Director of Public Prosecution, I find no justification for the issuance of the orders sought. I dismiss the application with costs to the respondents,” ruled Judge Ong’undi.
The former legal officer at Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission filed the application seeking to stop his prosecution.
He argued that he was apprehensive that EACC may arrest and charge him on trumped up charges arising from a inexplicably protracted investigation which started way back in year 2017 when he was serving as legal officer with EACC.
“The said investigations arose out of his role in the matter in which was brought to his attention in that capacity. My actions and explanations have been met with deaf ear thereby threatening to infringe on my rights as enshrined in the constitution of Kenya 2010,” Opondo said in the court documents.
He said on May 2,2017, in the process of discharging his duties made a corruption report to the EACC report center for onward allocation and further investigation.
He added that he was shocked to be summoned two days later by the Director of Public Investigation and immediately asked to respond to an inquiry or investigation about alleged solicitation of Sh15 million bribe to “stop” investigations about the tax evasion.
He said despite doing all that was required of him, he found himself in a never ending investigations which has tremendous effects not only on his health and psychologically but also has affected his professional growth unjustifiably.
“Despite carrying on the investigations for almost two years , the commission has failed to make known the outcome of the investigations thereby keeping the applicant in a lot of unwarranted anxiety and untold mental anguish,” he said.
He added that there was justifiable apprehension that the actions of the respondents (EACC and DPP) may be calculated to embarrass, humiliate and completely destroy his career on framed charges.
Opondo said around April 27, 2017 he received a dossier from an informer about alleged tax evasion scheme by Mwananchi Credit Limited.
” As an investigator and advocate, I then conducted a preliminary investigation with a view to establish whether the said allegations brought out a prima facie case warranting any further investigations and that the same met the threshold required to be put in the commission’s electronic system for allocation and further investigation,” said Opondo.
He added that he was satisfied and filed a report at the commission report center on May 2, 2017 but unknown to him, he would court trouble with the filing of that report two days later.
Opondo resigned from the commission on February 1,2018 and his resignation was accepted by the commission and immediately secured employment by the firm of Miller & Company Associates
But the appointment was terminated on March 5,2018 before he could report to work at the law firm.
This is he said was after EACC and DPP maliciously made a report to the new employer that he had a disciplinary case relating to integrity issues that might result to termination of his employment or face charges.