Senior counsel Paul Muite who has been restrained him temporary from privately prosecuting Machakos Senator Johnstone Muthama in a case which he’s charged with theft and abuse of office over the sale of Malili Ranch at Milimani law court.
BY SAM ALFAN.
Senior counsel Paul Muite has suffered a major blow after high court stopped him temporary from privately prosecuting Machakos Senator Johnstone Muthama in a case which he’s charged with theft and abuse of office over the sale of Malili Ranch. .
Justice George Odunga seized that, pending the hearing of the judicial review application before court Muite is restrained from carrying on with the private prosecution case against the senator and his co-accused.
The judge further said that allegations labeled against the senior counsel by Muthama must determine before he can continue with prosecution.
Muthama through his lawyers Dr John Khaminwa, Harun Ndubi and Antony Oluoch have submitted that Muite is unfit to conduct the prosecution.
Senator Muthama and former Information and Communications Permanent Secretary Bitange Ndemo were Friday charged with theft and abuse of office over the sale of Malili Ranch.
The two were charged alongside National Police Service Commission (NPSC) member Ronald Musengi and former Commissioner of Lands Zablon Mabea.
They were accused of stealing Sh179 million, the proceeds of the sale of 5,000 acres of land by Malili Ranch Ltd shareholders to the government.
The lawyers argue that Muite being a politician and leader of Safina Party is not permitted by law to carry state function.
They pointed out that Muite having been charged during the multi- party democracy, he was prosecuted by the office of the director of public prosecution and can not be given such an opportunity to prosecute fellow politicians.
The law does not allow such an appointment the prosecution under the new constitution is vested upon the director of prosecution and can only be delegated to immediate seniors’ deputy directors of public prosecution, they submitted.
The court heard that Muite carried out selective prosecution when he was given the file to give independent position as to who was to be charged in the malili ranch scandal
The lawyers told the judge that the police investigation had included the name of the Law Society Chairman Eric Mutua to be among those to be charged, but the final report by Muite left the out Mr Mutua’s name
They said Muite is not the right person to conduct such prosecution.Mr Ndemo faced three separate charges of failing to comply with procurement laws.Mr Musengi faced another charge of obtaining Sh40 million from lawyer Eric Mutua for Malili Ranch Ltd by pretending he was the agent for the land company in the acquisition.
The four were represented by a team of 30 lawyers, led by James Orengo, John Khaminwa and Kethi Kilonzo.
Three directors of Malili Ranch Donald Ngelai, James Munguti and Leonard Katua were not charged, having obtained orders stopping their prosecution in the same case.
The 5,000 acres of land was sold to the government for the construction of Konza Technology City.