Suspended transport cabinet secretary Engineer Michael Kamau, Nicholas Ndung’u Ng’ang’a and Resident Engineer, and Kata Matemu Kithyo before Nairobi Anti-corruption court where they pleaded not guilty to charges of abuse of office and failure to comply with procurement laws.
BY SAM ALAN.
Suspended Transport Cabinet Secretary Engineer Michael Kamau has suffered another major blow after the High Court declined to stop his prosecution.
Justice Mumbi Ngugi stated in her ruling delivered on Tuesday afternoon that she is not satisfied that his rights would be violated by the prosecution.
She however raised concern on issues raised in the petition and referred the petition to the Chief Justice Willy Mutunga to constitute a three judge bench.
“The court is not satisfied that the threat of violation of the petitioner’s rights exists but is however concerned with issues raised in the petition,” Ngugi stated in her ruling.
She noted that the petition points out at the “cancer of corruption” in the country. She also noted with concern that the Ethics and Anti-Corruption commission (EACC) waited for a directive from the executive before it could act on the corruption cases.
In his pleadings, the suspended Cabinet Secretary had claimed that EACC lacked the necessary quorum to give such a recommendation and the endorsement for him to be charged was on a biased and irregular basis.
Kamau filed a petition last week seeking to stop his prosecution on corruption charges before a magistrate’s court.
He argued that the criminal trial before the lower court will infringe on his rights and should therefore be stopped.
Kamau in his submissions told the court that the offences against him are said to have been committed more than 10 years ago, there would be no prejudice if the prosecution was stopped until the conclusion of the petition.
The suspended Cabinet Secretary was charged on Thursday with abuse of office and failure to follow procurement rules.
He became the first senior Government official in the anti-graft commission List of Shame to face graft charges.He argued that the EACC was not properly constituted to recommend charges against him.
Justice Ngugi had declined to grant him temporary orders when he filed the application stating that the criminal justice was a process underpinned in the law and there was nothing to demonstrate the
violation of his rights as to justify the orders to stop the charges.
Engineer Michael Kamau was charged last week and released on a cash bail of one million shillings.
This after he appeared before a Nairobi Anti-corruption court as ordered on Tuesday after he and other two accused failed to appear in court to face charges against them.
He and his co-accused denied charges of abuse of office and failure to comply with procurement laws.
Anti-corruption Senior Principal Magistrate Lawrence Mugambi released him on a Sh3 million bond with a surety of the same amount with an alternative Sh1 million cash bail.
Other two accused Nicholas Ndung’u Ng’ang’a and Resident Engineer, and Kata Matemu Kithyo who was a member of the ministerial tender committee were released on a cash bill of Sh 600,000.
Kamau had appeared in court earlier on Thursday morning before he was handed over to the ethics and anti corruption commission officials for processing.
“I cannot release you on the same terms as your co-accused charged on Tuesday as you are facing more counts and are only here by force of summons,” Mugambi explained.
Kamau stands accused of wilfully failing to comply with applicable procedures and guidelines relating to the management of public funds, engaging in a project without prior planning, wilful failure to comply with the law relating to procurement and abuse of office.
The particulars of the offence are that he “ignored the design of the Kamukuywa-Kaptama-Kapsokwony-Sirisia Road which had been done by Engiconsult Consulting Engineers Limited at the cost of Sh33, 303,600 and entering into a Memorandum of Understanding under which the resident engineer redesigned the same road.”
He is also under investigation by EACC for allegedly illegally contracting a local firm to handle cargo belonging to the Chinese firm contracted to build the standard gauge railway, and directing billions of shillings of SGR-related consultancy work to a firm linked to him.