Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission (EACC) lawyerDavid Ruto ,lawyer Fredrick Ashimosi for director of public prosecution and lawyer Donald Kipkorir for the embattled Central Bank Governor Njuguna Ndung’u at milimani law courts on( Monday 17/11/2014).
BY SAM ALFAN.
High Court has dismissed a petition by Central Bank governor Njuguna Ndung’u seeking to halt his arrest over alleged irregularities in the award of a Sh1.2 billion security tender to a UK-owned firm.
Justice George Odunga on Monday ruled that Prof Ndung’u failed to prove to the court the infringement by the anti-corruption watchdog and the Director of Public Prosecutions committed by ordering his arrest.
The Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission had accused Prof Ndung’u of influencing the Public Procurement Oversight Authority to award the tender to Horsebridge, a UK firm with a local presence.
The Sh1.2 billion deal was to see Horsebridge install and maintain a new security surveillance system for the CBK.
Embattled Central Bank Governor Njuguna Ndung’u moved to court to stop his arrest over any alleged corruption offences against him.
Earlier Nairobi High Court has barred police from arresting Central Bank of Kenya (CBK) Governor Professor Njuguna Ndung’u for alleged corruption.
Prof Ndun’gu sued the Ethic and Anti-Corruption Commission (EACC), the Director of Public Prosecution (DPP) Keriako Tobiko, the Inspector General of Police, the National Police Service and Attorney General Githu Muigai wanting them barred from arresting or charging him with any corruption offences.
Through his lawyer Donald Kipkorir, he alleged that discussions on his arrest were held in his absenture and that he has not been directly involved in the awarding of Sh1.2 billion tender.
Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission (EACC) detectives reportedly made unsuccessful attempts to arrest Prof Ndung’u.
Justice Odunga said that the matter would best be dealt with by the trial court, paving the way for his possible arrest and prosecution.
“It is the trial court that is best placed to evaluate the evidence against the governor and so make a determination. The governor failed to demonstrate to the court the violation caused by the office of Ethics and Anti- corruption Commission and the office of the DPP,” said Justice Odunga.
Justice Weldon Korir ordered CBK to award Horsebridge the deal in September, arguing that EACC had failed to provide progress of its investigations into the deal that saw it push for Prof Njuguna’s arrest.
The judge had given EACC the 45 days it had requested to complete investigations into Prof Ndung’u, but failed to furnish its progress report before court.
EACC moved to the Court of Appeal to contest Justice Korir’s decision, and the case is still ongoing.
Justice Odunga agreed with the anti-corruption body’s argument that Prof Ndung’u ignored advice from CBK’s lawyers in influencing the procurement body to award Horsebridge the tender.
“The governor ignored the advice given to him by officials from the bank over the award of the tender. He acted alone and that is why the office of the DPP had preferred criminal charge of abuse of office,” added Justice Odunga.
His lawyer Donald Kipkorir vowed to challenge justice Odunga ruling in the court of appeal arguing that the other matter before the court allowed the contract to proceed.
The judge however granted Prof Ndung’u 14 days to appeal the decision, after his lawyer Donald Kipkorir put in an application seeking the stay orders.
Today’s ruling brings in a new twist to the matter, following a ruling by another High Court judge which gave a clean bill of health to Horsebridge’s tender award.
Parliament’s Public Accounts Committee last year found that the CBK had irregularly awarded De La Rue several currency printing contracts.
The committee cited the December 2002 contract that was awarded to De La Rue following the expiry of a 10-year contract between CBK and the UK printer.
The PAC found that the bank had entered into another 10-year currency printing contract with De La Rue without any competitive tendering as required by law.
If Mr Tobiko acts on EACC’s advice, it would be the first time that high ranking CBK officials are arraigned in court over the controversial currency deals that were executed during former president Kibaki’s term in office.