Ex-PS reprieve as court quashes three-year jail in cemetery saga
Bernice Mbugua @BerniceMuhindi
Former Local Government Principal Secretary Sammy Kirui walked to freedom yesterday after the High Court quashed his three-year sentence in the cemetery scandal.
Kirui had also been fined Sh1 million alongside the late former Nairobi City Clerk John Gakuo, after they were found guilty of abuse of office, in connection with the purchase of cemetery land valued at Sh283 million.
High Court Judge John Onyiego quashed the sentence saying the prosecution did not prove allegations of abuse of office beyond reasonable doubt.
Kirui’s co-accused Mary Ngethe and Alexander Musee, were however not as lucky as the court upheld their three-year sentence and dismissed claims that their sentencing was excessive.
Ngethe was the Nairobi City Council’s legal director and chairperson of the tender evaluation committee.
She was also fined Sh52 million while the committee’s secretary, Musee, got Sh32 million fine.
“There was no reason to interfere with the sentences imposed by the lower court owing to the gravity of offences committed,” ruled the judge.
The trio appealed at the High Court and in July last year, Justice Onyiego released them on a bond of Sh5 million each pending hearing and determination of their appeal.
Justice Onyiego, who had denied them bail before Gakuo died, had to review his orders after the court heard that the convicts were suffering in prison, which lacked facilities for their treatment.
The court ordered them to deposit their passports and report to the deputy registrar once a month until the appeal is heard and determined.
The judge yesterday directed Directorate of Criminal Investigations Office Kilimani to investigate medical reports presented by Ngethe which indicated that she had Covid-19 and which had led the judge to postpone the judgment for four times .
Ngethe had presented documents from Lancet claiming that she had contracted coronavirus.
The prosecution told the court that they had received documents from Lancet confirming that lab tests on Ngethe did not emanate from them.
“As such the appellant ought to be investigated for committing an offence of perjury and uttering a false document,” argued DPP