Ngilu blames DPP in land case

Thursday November 12 2015

Suspended Land Cabinet Secretary Charity Ngilu at a Milimani court on July 13, 2015. Ngilu has accused the Director of Public Prosecutions of approving her prosecution over the Karen land scandal without evidence that she had obstructed anti-corruption investigators. FILE PHOTO | PAUL WAWERU | NATION MEDIA GROUP

Suspended Land Cabinet Secretary Charity Ngilu at a Milimani court on July 13, 2015. Ngilu has accused the Director of Public Prosecutions of approving her prosecution over the Karen land scandal without evidence that she had obstructed anti-corruption investigators. FILE PHOTO | PAUL WAWERU | NATION MEDIA GROUP 

By ABIUD OCHIENG
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Suspended Lands Cabinet Secretary Charity Ngilu has accused the Director of Public Prosecutions of approving her prosecution over the Karen land scandal without evidence that she had obstructed anti-corruption investigators.

Through lawyers Paul Muite and Kioko Kilukumi, the embattled CS Thursday told a three-judge Bench that the fact that the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission officials recorded statements from every witness they wanted to interview was sufficient evidence that they got all they wanted from her ministry.

“In those circumstances, it is impossible to establish the crime of obstruction. A successful obstruction of investigations would have stalled the investigations,” said Mr Muite.

Ms Ngilu was on June 19 charged with obstructing the commission officials from investigating the 134-acre Karen land scandal.

Mr Muite told High Court judges Mumbi Ngugi, George Odunga and Joseph Onguto that the DPP preferred obstruction charges against Ms Ngilu after failing to find any evidence linking her to the Karen land scandal.

“The claim that Ms Ngilu obstructed the investigators is erroneous because she was attending a meeting with the Deputy President when the officers came,” said Mr Muite.

Mr Kilukumi said it was Ms Ngilu who had written to the anti-corruption commission and the Directorate of Criminal Investigations, inviting the detectives.

He said the CS could not have then turned around to obstruct investigations she had initiated.

The lawyer said the commission was acting on a tight deadline of 60 days to complete the investigations as directed by President Uhuru Kenyatta.

He said this compromised the quality of investigations, adding that proper inquiries require sufficient time.

“The commission did not have enough time to complete investigations into the 175 cases, and that explains why Ms Ngilu was not given an opportunity to respond to the claims against her,” said Mr Kilukumi.

At the same time, suspended Transport CS Michael Kamau, who is also challenging abuse of office charges preferred against him, also told the three-judge Bench that the anti-corruption commission was not properly constituted at the time it made recommendations for his prosecution.

His lawyers Paul Njuguna and Wanja Wambugu said the commission’s members had resigned, and its action was, therefore, illegal.

“We are also saying that President Kenyatta’s directive to the anti-corruption commission to investigate Mr Kamau and others interfered with its independence as a constitutionally independent body. The commission ought to have ignored that directive,” said Mr Njuguna.

The DPP, the commission and the attorney-general will respond at the next hearing set for December 10.