Haji given time to disclose evidence in MP’s fraud case
A Nairobi court has given the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) Noordin Haji more time to make full disclosure of documentary evidence and witness statements to be used against Lari MP Jonah Mburu Mwangi and other members of the National-Government Constituency Development Funds (NG-CDF) charged with embezzlement of Sh27 million.
Milimani Anti-Corruption Court chief magistrate Douglas Ogoti gave DPP more time after defence lawyers led by Philip Nyachoti informed the court the prosecution had supplied them with edited and illegible statements in the case against their clients.
The lawyers told the court that the prosecution has not satisfactorily complied with the orders to furnish and disclose evidence.
“Although we have been supplied with other copies of witness statements, we have not been supplied with the expert documents which prosecution intend to use in the case,” said lawyer Nyachoti.
The court heard that the essence of having the prosecutors and the defence exchange documents is to afford the accused person a fair trial. Further, that if a witness statement is fully redacted it is of little use to the defence.
Lawyer Nyachoti told the court that with the illegible and redacted documents, they couldn’t be able to make a proper defence for their clients.
The legislator is jointly charged alongside Fund Accounts manager Ayaan Mahadhi, Peter Mwangi the chair, Francis Gachoka, Paul Mucheru and Grace Macharia. They all denied 18 counts before Chief magistrate Ogoti.
However the MP and CDF members were barred from accessing the CDF offices until determination of the case.
Mburu was released on cash bail of Sh2million, while the rest were released on cash bail ranging from Sh2 million, Sh1.5 million upto Sh10 million.
The prosecution did not oppose bond.
Haji had said that he was satisfied that there is sufficient evidence to support charges against the accused persons.
The accused are charged with conflict of interest, abuse of office, conspiracy to commit an offence of companies, dealing with suspect property, acting without authorisation.
According to the prosecution the MP and Lari CDF officials in conflict of interest received public funds from businesses that traded with Lari CDF.
These companies and businesses entities were Claymug General suppliers, Kienjeku textiles and uniforms general suppliers, Rumuli Limited, Kimondo and Sons General supplies among others.
Mburu is said to have received benefits from Oshoann General Merchants and Oshland Green Ventures a business entity that was trading with Lari CDF.
Mugo is said to have been awarded contracts in 2017/18 financial Year and the 2018/19 FY by the Lari CDFC.
He is alleged to have received six tenders through Claymug suppliers, two tenders through Rumuli Limited, two tenders through Ndemeki Limited, and three tenders through Kienjeku textiles, Haji said
Gachoka, the Lari CDF clerk of works is said to have been awarded three tenders in the 2017/18 financial year by the Lari CDFC through Kimondo and Sons General Suppliers