What you need to know:
- In response to the application filed by Dr Kidero, the DPP, through prosecutor Joseph Riungu, questioned why he raised the matter four months since it was last addressed in court.
- Mr Riungu defended the 35 counts against accused persons including the former governor, saying each was distinct, with particulars of acts and omissions by the parties.
- He also said Dr Kidero's application was malicious, in bad faith and only meant to interfere with the hearing of the case.
Director of Public Prosecutions Noordin Haji has asked a magistrate to dismiss former Nairobi Governor Evans Kidero's application against the graft charges brought against him.
In response to the application filed by Dr Kidero, the DPP, through prosecutor Joseph Riungu, questioned why he raised the matter four months since it was last addressed in court.
Mr Riungu defended the 35 counts against accused persons including the former governor, saying each was distinct, with particulars of acts and omissions by the parties.
Dr Kidero and former senior officials in his administration are facing charges of corruption and economic crimes including conspiracy to commit corruption, abuse of office, fraudulent acquisition of public property, dealing with suspect property and unlawful failure to pay tax to a public body.
Among the accused are former County secretary Lilian Ndegwa, former Chief Finance Officer Mr Jimmy Mutuku Kiamba, former minister in charge of finance and planning Mr Gregory Mwakanongo, former accounting head Stephen Ogago Osiro, former acting chief finance officer Mr Luke Mugo and former acting head of Treasury Maurice Ochieng Okere.
Othersare Mr John Githua and Grace Njeri of Lodwar Wholesalers Limited and Ngurumani Traders Limited
Mr Riungu said in a statement that Dr Kidero's application was malicious, in bad faith and only meant to interfere with the hearing of the case.
“Subsequently, at all material times when the matter came up for pre-trial directions, up until the time the hearing dates were given, none of the accused raised an issue in relation to duplicity or any other issue pertaining to the charge sheet,” he said.
He noted that the charge sheet was not overloaded as alleged since all the accused persons face distinct counts and none of them faces more than 12.
The DPP also dismissed Dr Kidero's application to be tried separately saying the prosecution would be prejudiced in calling the same witnesses for different trials yet the facts of the cases are similar.
“Additionally, the witnesses will be referring to the same documents for both trials, which would be tedious,” he said.
In the application, Dr Kidero accused Mr Haji of charging him with multiple graft counts in order to embarrass him.
Dr Kidero said the 35 counts he and the others face are oppressive and likely to lead to a miscarriage of justice.
While three counts relate only to him, Dr Kidero said count one, in which he is accused of conspiracy to commit fraud, has been duplicated with the sole aim of embarrassing him in his defence.
Through lawyer Tom Ojienda, he said that if unchallenged, the charges may cause him double jeopardy. He wants to be tried separately in some counts to prevent this.
Prof Ojienda further said that only four witness have been lined up to testify against his client and that their proceedings might take less than three days.
The other 25 witnesses, he said, may take more than 70 days to give their testimonies.
The charge sheet states that the accused conspired to commit fraud, leading to the loss of Sh213,327,300 at the county government between January 16, 2014 and January 25, 2016.
They allegedly conspired to commit corrupt acts by authorising payment to various companies for services not rendered.
Dr Kidero is alleged to have received a total of Sh24 million from Lodwar Wholesalers - it is alleged that he received Sh14 million from on August 24, 2014 and Sh10 million on September 11 that year.
Chief Magistrate Douglas Ogoti will hear his application on Thursday morning.