20 June 2012

Kenya: DPP Seeks End to Case

THE Director of Public Prosecution is seeking to have charges preferred against two former officials accused of looting the Makadara Constituency Development fund withdrawn.

A state prosecutor handling the case told an anti corruption court that DPP Keriako Tobiko had instructed him to withdraw the case under Section 87 (a) of the criminal procedure code".

The section which he quoted empowers the DPP to terminate a case at any stage although suspects can be re-arrested and charged over the same issue. The suspects, Vincent Shimoli and Geoffrey Maina however rejected the move saying they want their case to go to full trial. The prosecution has lined 11 witnesses and seven of them including Sonko have already given their evidence. Shimoli and Maina have denied three counts of corruptly offering the MP a bribe on January 8 , 10 and 11 at Golden Gate Court in South B, Nairobi.

In the case, Sonko claims the two offered him Sh 300,000 so that he could authorize them prepare and make payments of non existent CDF projects within Makandara constituency. Maina is also alleged to have given the Mp Sh 180,000 to allow them pay-off non-existing projects in Makadara. Parties appeared before magistrate Lucy Nyambura yesterday for hearing but the DPP representative informed court of their intention.

Lawyers Neville Omolo and Robert Wanga rejected the withdrawal and Nyambura directed them to go back to court on July 16 to argue. Sonko claims that Sh6 million from the constituency CDF kitty was stolen. When he testified in court, he told the magistrate that he turned down the bribe and that he recorded a statement with the anti graft body over the missing millions. According to the MP, misappropriation of funds started after he sacked officials who were working under the patronage of former MP and appointed a new team.

He said he got more suspicious when he received a letter from a school in his constituency acknowledging donations from the CDF office. The MP said Shimoli told him that he would give the headmasters Sh50, 000 in return if they would acknowledge receiving desk and lockers from the CDF. He said the two told him that he should accept the money to recover what he spent during campaigns. But the two have denied the claims and want the case to be heard and determined.

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