Senate adjourns sitting after Linturi’s arrest

Thursday, April 29th, 2021 00:00 |
Meru Senator Mithika Linturi. PD/file

Hillary Mageka and Zadock Angira

Meru Senator Mithika Linturi was yesterday arrested over a fraudulent loan he took from Family Bank two years ago.

The Senator had tried to stop the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) and the Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI) from arresting and charging him together with his co-director, Emily Buantai, in vain.

The DCI said Linturi is likely to face 38 counts related to fraud, including personation, giving false information and fraudulently procuring registration of charge. 

Other charges include obtaining credits by false pretences, abuse of office, forgery and intent to defraud among others.

Linturi had earlier claimed the intended prosecution is unlawful, as it relates to a family and property dispute between him and his estranged wife Maryanne Kitany.

Kitany lodged a complaint with the DCI two years ago, accusing Linturi and Buantai, who were co-directors of Atticon Ltd, of fraud by taking a loan using fake papers.

Linturi wanted the court to bar the DPP and DCI from charging them with any criminal offences relating to credit facilities and securities and fraudulent changes on Atticon Limited ownership pending hearing and determination of family disputes between him and Kitany.

“The DPP has maliciously recommended the arrest, charge and prosecution for alleged criminal offences revolving around loans, overdrafts and other facilities that Family Bank extended to Atticon Ltd where the complaint giving rise to the investigations had actually been lodged,” Linturi said in the papers.

Distress call

Instead, Linturi accused DCI of being biased and selective in prosecution, claiming he had also lodged a complaint against Kitany and the other directors but to date, no action has been taken against them.

Yesterday, drama characterised proceedings at the Senate Special Sitting, as agitated senators demanded that the session be adjourned due to Linturi’s arrest.

He was arrested as he headed to the Senate to participate in the scheduled BBI Bill debate.

 “Mr Speaker, I want to bring to your attention something that has just happened that will perhaps require your direction and guidance.

I received a distress call from Senator Mithika Linturi,” Kericho Senator Aaron Cheruiyot stated, bringing the matter to Speaker Kenneth Lusaka’s attention.

“If you do recall in the morning, he raised a point of order on his reading and his understanding of Article 257 and you did promise that we first dispense with the earlier matter then we respond to it,” he said.

“This afternoon on his way to Parliament, he was stopped by gentlemen who claimed to be officers from the DCI.

They asked him to alight from his car and drove him towards to DCI headquarters,” Cheruiyot went on.  

The Kericho lawmaker noted that Linturi’s arrest mirrors the unfortunate events that took place during the Revenue Formula debacle. 

“The Inspector of Police and DCI committed this House that any time senators are considering such monumental issues, if there was an issue that warranted them being arrested, it will be done with consultations with the Speaker,” the Senator said.

Vihiga Senator George Khaniri said an attack on any legislator is an attack on Parliament.

“We must stand and speak with one voice that if indeed our colleague has been apprehended in line of duty, then as a Senate we must protest,” said Khaniri.

However, Kiambu Senator Kimani Wamatangi informed the House that Linturi had a mishap with some officers who apprehended him, but said he had been released and that he was on the way to the chamber.

Lusaka, while adjourning the House for 30 minutes, termed Linturi’s arrests as very serious. “Because of the gravity of the matter and what has been requested.

I am suspending the house for 30 minutes during which time I will use to find out what exactly has happened,” the speaker said.

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