BY SAM ALFAN.
Four officials charged alongside Garissa Governor Ali Korane over the alleged loss of Sh233 million from the county government have moved to the High Court, seeking quash charges against them.
Garissa Municipal Board Manager Abdi Bulle, chief of finance Ibrahim Nur Shurie, Head of Treasury Mohamed Abdullahi and Head of Accounting Garissa Municipal Board Ahmed Aden want the High Court to quash the decision by Director of Public Prosecution Noordin Haji to charge them.
Through lawyer Katwa Kigen, the officials want the High Court to declare fair trial is not possible, they jointly and severally have no case to answer or a culpable criminal case against them.
They claim the DPP misapprehended the law or the charges were motivated by extra-judicious or ulterior motives. “In the borrowing and refunding monies from the account set out into count three to eight over misappropriation of public funds and in acting in manifest ultimate good faith in the face of the facts and circumstances of this case, ” officials told the court.
The four also want the court to restrain EACC, DPP and the trial court from presenting further charges against them as presented in the current graft case before the Milimani Anti-Corruption Court on the same set of facts and in relation to their work as employees of Garissa County in county’s account on restored borrowing.
They are challenging a decision by DPP Haji to charge them with conspiracy and four counts over misappropriation of public funds in the charge sheet dated September 14, 2020.
They also wants the court to declare that their arrest and prosecution over charges over conspiracy and misappropriation of public funds contribute to abuse of power by DPP and EACC.
“A declaration that in presenting the charges leveled against 1 and 2 respondents engaged in a strict and narrow interpretation of section 154 of the public finance management Act, 2012 in a manner that offends other empowering provisions of the same Act and regulation, ” urged the charged county officials.
They are also seeking damages over claims that their rights were violated.
They claim that the criminal case and proceedings are an abuse of the court process and oppressive.
According to them, the criminal justice system is being manipulated and DPP and EACC are using the criminal justice system for ulterior motives and to achieve extraneous purposes.
“The prosecution instigated by the complainants is not for general public interests. In fact, the action of Petitioners and whole undertaking of the transactions were done in good faith and for the public good of Garissa,” they claim.
They further claim that the decision to prosecute them is unreasonable, irrational and clearly for extraneous purposes since the World Bank and state department of housing have never brought any complaints to the notice or attention of Petitioners.
The government of Garissa was allocated Sh233.506.000 as per county allocation Act (CARA) under conditional grant to counties for the financial year 2018/2019 and the amount received at the county-Kenya Urban Support Special purpose account held at CBK.
The funds were from the World Bank for the construction of Qurohey Market, Re-carpeting of Garissa Township Central Business District (CBD) roads and Construction of storm water drainage and pedestrian walkways.