Blow to DPP as court throws out Sh38m graft case

Thursday, August 19th, 2021 00:00 |
Former KRA director Joseph Gikonyo and his wife Lucy Kangau.

Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) Noordin Haji was yesterday dealt a major blow after the Anti-Corruption court acquitted a former Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA) director and his wife of several charges relating to Sh38 million tax evasion.

Milimani Chief Magistrate Douglas Ogoti freed Joseph Gikonyo and his wife Lucy Kangau, who are also directors of Giche Limited, of the corruption charges for lack of evidence.

“For the many reasons given in my ruling above including the finding that the charges against the accused are defective and the prosecution have failed to establish a prima facie case against them.

The accused here in are acquitted under section 201 of the Criminal Procedural Code,” Ogoti ruled.

The magistrate noted that the six prosecution witnesses who testified in the case including the investigating officer failed to table evidence to warrant the court put the accused on their defense.

In his ruling, Ogoti blasted the Ethic and Anti-Corruption Commission (EACC) and Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) for relying on evidence that was collected by the taxman. 

Shoddy investigations 

He noted that EACC did not carry out independent investigations against the accused but relied on materials presented to them by KRA officials to charge the couple.

The two directors together with their company Giche Limited had denied that on diverse dates between 2010 and 2015 in Mombasa, being directors of Giche Ltd, they fraudulently failed to pay Sh38,692,694 in taxes arising from the company’s taxable income and accrued penalties.

However, following the acquittal defence lawyers Abbas Esmail and Gibson Kimani said that the accused should not have been charged in the first place as EACC did not have evidence against them.

He said that the accused were embarrassed in the manner in which they were arrested at Mombasa and dragged into court without any cogent evidence to support the allegations against them.

Upon acquittal, the couple were overcome by emotions and sobbed but eventually thanked the court for exercising it’s jurisdictions judiciously.

“I thank God for justice has been done and l have been vindicated alongside my wife,” said Gikonyo, a former KRA assistant Director based at Mombasa office. 

Yesterday’s  decision is the first corruption case against a high ranking government officer to be acquitted under section 201 of the CPC by Anti-Corruption Chief Magistrate Douglas Ogoti.

More on News