NAIROBI, Kenya, Jun 2 – The High Court on Tuesday declined to issue orders barring the prosecution of suspended Cabinet Secretary Michael Kamau directing that the prosecuting authority be given a chance to respond.
Justice Mumbi Ngugi however certified the matter as urgent in light of the summons issued on Tuesday requiring Kamau to face abuse of office charges Thursday.
She has therefore directed Kamau, through his lawyers, to serve the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission (EACC) before the matter can be heard on Wednesday.
Kamau argues that the EACC, given the resignation of all its commissioners, is not properly constituted and therefore lacks the ability to prefer charges against him.
The Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) had given the EACC the green light to charge Kamau on suspicion of colluding with a contractor to change a road’s design in Kimilili, leading to the embezzlement of public funds.
The Commission for the Implementation of the Constitution (CIC) had cautioned that the EACC could not recommend prosecutions to the DPP without a go-ahead from commissioners of which it now has none.
An argument which the DPP Keriako Tobiko and the Attorney General Githu Muigai said did not hold water arguing that the Commission’s secretariat could carry out investigations with or without commissioners.
Two of the three commissioners stepped down after a tribunal was formed by President Uhuru Kenyatta to investigate charges of incompetence and abuse of office leveled against them. The third commissioner had resigned days before the President’s action.
Kamau is among five Cabinet Secretaries who were suspended by President Uhuru Kenyatta in March to allow the EACC probe corruption allegations leveled against them.
He however remains the only one against whom the DPP found that there is sufficient evidence to sustain prosecution.
Kamau was also under investigation on suspicion of illegally contracting a Chinese firm to undertake 80 percent of the clearing and forwarding of imported cargo at the Port of Mombasa for a period of 14 years.