The Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions (ODPP) has come out to say that the Ksh.588 million corruption case facing former Kiambu Governor Ferdinand Waititu is still ongoing despite some media reports intimating that the suit has been thrown out entirely.
Waititu, who was impeached as Kiambu Governor in January 2020, is charged alongside 12 others with the irregular awarding of a Ksh.588 million road tender.
The ODPP statement comes after the Milimani Law Courts, on September 20, 2022, granted an adjournment request filed by the legal team of five of the accused persons on February 21, 2022 seeking to have the case declared as unconstitutional and prohibiting the ODPP from prosecuting the matter.
The request was granted by the court.
“Contrary to media reports, the High Court has not dropped anti-corruption charges against Ferdinand Waititu but has only granted orders of prohibition in respect of five (5) of his co-accused persons who are members of the tender evaluation committee,” said the ODPP on Thursday in a statement signed by Victor Mule on behalf of DPP Noordin Haji.
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“The ODPP being dissatisfied with the decision of the High Court has initiated an appeal in the Court of Appeal against the whole of the decision and intends to proceed with the case against the other accused persons including Ferdinand Waititu which is still pending before the Chief Magistrates court at Milimani Anti-corruption Division.”
DPP Haji’s office reportedly began looking into the said graft allegations on July 9, 2019 after the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission (EACC) filed an inquiry into the irregular procurement of a tender to upgrade various gravel roads to bituminous in Thika, Limuru, Gatundu North, Juja and Ruiru sub-counties.
The tender, amounting to Ksh.588,198,328, was awarded to M/S Testimony Enterprises Ltd during the 2017/18 financial year according to the ODPP.
“Upon a thorough perusal of the inquiry file and analysis of the evidence, the ODPP was satisfied that there was sufficient evidence with a reasonable prospect of conviction to prosecute thirteen (13) suspects for various corruption and criminal offences,” said Mule.
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“On the 29th of July 2019, the accused persons were charged with several counts arising from the irregular award of contract to M/S Testimony Enterprises Ltd.”
The charges include conflict of interest, dealing with suspect property, abuse of office, wilful failure to comply with the law relating to procurement, engaging in a fraudulent practice in procurement, fraudulent acquisition of public property, and money laundering.
“The matter is currently before the Chief Magistrates court at Milimani Anti-corruption Division and the ODPP has already presented the evidence of twenty-seven (27) witnesses,” said Mule.
(Story courtesy: Citizen Digital)