NAIROBI, Kenya, Dec 6 – The Director of Public Prosecutions Keriako Tobiko has withdrawn 125 graft cases and sent them back to the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission for review.
Tobiko says his decision is informed by the Court of Appeal judgement in former Cabinet Secretary Michael Kamau’s case where it found that the EACC was not properly constituted when it recommended his prosecution.
“The Court of Appeal ruled that EACC was not properly constituted due to absence Commissioners and that all cases investigated and forwarded to DPP during that period were invalid and unlawful.”
Among the cases affected is that of former National Youth Service Director General Nelson Githinji who stands accused of abusing his office by using public resources to service his personal vehicle at a cost of half a million.
Also affected are other public officials who were included on the famously labelled ‘list of shame’ tabled by President Uhuru Kenyatta in Parliament.
The EACC secretariat recommended Kamau and Githinji’s prosecutions – for instance – on May 25, 2015 and January 15, 2016 respectively after it was rendered devoid of Commissioners following Mumo Matemu’s resignation as Chairperson on May 25, 2015 and before Philip Kinisu and team took office on January 18, 2016.
Kamau together with fellow former CS Charity Ngilu, first challenged the legality of the recommendations before a three judge bench of the High Court which found that while the EACC was indeed not properly constituted, the DPP was not bound by their recommendation; having the independence to pursue prosecution, order for further investigations, or where sufficient evidence lacking, decide against moving forward with charges.