Suspended CS Charity Ngilu in court over Karen land saga, freed on bail

Friday June 19 2015

By PAUL OGEMBA
More by this Author

Suspended Lands Cabinet Secretary Charity Ngilu appeared in a magistrate's court on Friday to answer charges related to the controversial Karen land.

She, however, did not take plea as she asked for her charges to be separated from eight officials charged alongside her — who are accused of fraudulent acquisition of the Karen land — arguing that the charges were not related.

She requested that a separate charge sheet be prepared before she could take the plea.

Mrs Ngilu is accused of obstructing investigations into the Karen land saga by directing Lands ministry officials not to release documents to its investigators or even record any statements regarding the matter.

The prosecution had opposed the separation of the charges noting that they were of similar character, and argued that the her obstruction was aimed at ensuring that none of the accused faced charges.

She was released on a Sh1 million cash bail pending a ruling on the matter on Friday next week.

CROWD OF SUPPORTERS

Mrs Ngilu was accompanied to the court by crowds of supporters, including opposition Cord co-principal Kalonzo Musyoka and MPs Dan Maanzo and Cecily Mbarire.

The Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission (EACC) had recommended that she be charged with the offence of obstruction, which the Director Public Prosecutions (DPP) accepted.

Mrs Ngilu is the second CS to appear before the court to face charges, of the five who were suspended in April to facilitate investigations over allegations of corruption.

Transport CS Michael Kamau was the first to be charged.

He was charged with abuse of office and wilful failure to comply with procurement rules over the construction of the Kamukuywa-Kaptama-Kapsokwony-Kimilili road, which led to the loss of millions of shillings. He denied the charges.

The other Cabinet secretaries who were accused of corruption and remain suspended are Felix Koskei (Agriculture), Kazungu Kambi (Labour), Davis Chirchir (Energy)

Also suspended were principal secretaries Mutea Iringo (Defence), Nduva Muli (Transport), Patrick Omutia (Mining) and James Teko (Water).