NAIROBI, Kenya, Jun 3 – The High Court on Wednesday directed suspended Transport and Infrastructure Cabinet Secretary Engineer Michael Kamau to honour summons issued by the anti-corruption court for Thursday.
Justice Mumbi Ngugi directed Kamau to plead to abuse of office charges as summoned and to make an application for release on bond if he did not want to be detained by the police.
Kamau had moved to the High Court on Tuesday under a certificate of urgency challenging the summons, on the grounds that his prosecution was unlawful.
Kamau argued that the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission (EACC) which recommended his prosecution to the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP), was not legally constituted at the time and therefore any recommendations it made were null and void.
“The Constitution stipulates very clearly that the commission should be comprised of a chairman and two other commissioners of which there were none when the EACC forwarded my client’s file to the DPP,” lawyer Paul Njuguna argued on behalf of Kamau before Justice Ngugi on Wednesday.
Kamau argued in an affidavit that President Uhuru Kenyatta had no business directing the EACC to complete its investigations of those on the #ListOfShame within 60 days as it should carry out its functions independent of the Executive.
President Kenyatta’s interference, Kamau argued, compromised the EACC’s investigation into him leading to what he described as the, “biased, flawed, irregular, null and void,” decision to prosecute him on the suspicion that he abused his office by colluding with a contractor to change a road’s design in Kimilili.
The EACC and DPP through lawyers Judith Shamalla and Edwin Okello respectively, dismissed Kamau’s arguments saying he was already under investigation when President Kenyatta issued the ultimatum.
“The status report handed over the to the President clearly states that the complaint filed against Kamau was already in the analysis of evidence phase having been filed on January 15, 2013,” Shamalla informed Justice Ngugi.
They also argued that in a number of other judgements, the High Court had found that the EACC could execute its functions as set out in the Constitution, with or without commissioners.
Justice Ngugi is set to give her ruling on Kamau’s application challenging his prosecution on June 9 after finding that that there was insufficient time to substantively consider the submissions made on the matter before Kamau’s scheduled arraignment on Thursday.
She however ordered that the case against him not proceed beyond the determination of a bond application.
Okello had argued that Kamau would not be prejudiced by pleading to the abuse of office charge as he was already charged on Tuesday when six of his eight co-accused took their pleas.
They, Okello said, would however be prejudiced should Kamau hinder the expedient hearing of the case against them through his application to the High Court.