, NAIROBI, Kenya, Jul 15 – The High Court on Wednesday temporarily halted corruption charges against Garissa Governor Nathif Jama pending hearing of an application challenging his prosecution.
Justice Weldon Korir said Governor Jama through his lawyer had established a good case which should be heard before the plea by the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) seeking to open corruption proceedings against him is taken as ordered.
Jama’s lawyer Ahmednasir Abdullahi argued that the criminal charges were filed in bad faith as Jama does not sit in the county tender committee and is also not a member of the procurement team.
The court further heard that the tender committee is governed by the Public Procurement and Disposal Regulation which insulates it from the Governor’s interference.
According to Abdullahi, members of the tender committee are well known and his application demonstrated that Jama was not involved in corruption as recommended by the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission (EACC) when it investigated the allegations.
EACC recommended that Jama be charged and the DPP approved his prosecution alongside seven other county officials over the procurement of ambulances from the Kenya Red Cross Society.
Together with the seven officials, Jama is accused of leasing ambulances from the Emergency Plus Medical Services Ltd which is owned by the Kenya Red Cross Society.
Korir directed that the application for judicial review be fixed for inter-parties hearing on Wednesday.
Jama had been ordered to appear before court in Garissa next Monday to answer charges related to procurement of the ambulances for the Garissa County Government.