The Office of Directorate of Public Prosecutions (ODPP) has filed appeal to reverse a decision by the High Court in Kakamega to free five suspects who had been convicted by a lower court for abusing procurement procedures and ‘buying’ nine wheelbarrows at an inflated price in Bungoma County.
While filing appeal notice yesterday, DPP’s office, expressed its dissatisfaction with the ruling made by Justice Jesse Njagi on October 1.
“Take note that the respondent, the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP), being dissatisfied by the entire judgement and orders of the Honourable Justice J.N Njagi delivered and dated at Kakamega on October 1, 2020, intends to appeal to the Court of Appeal against the whole of the said decision,” notice reads in part.
Kakamega High Court acquitted Ayub Tuvaka, Howard Lugadili, Oscar Onyango, Arlington Shikuku and Reuben Ruto of the charges levelled against them. The court ruled that conviction of the five was marred by illegalities.
The five had been convicted by Chief Magistrate Bildad Ochieng’ in 2018 for willingly failing to comply with procurement and tendering procedures. The suspects bought wheelbarrows each at an inflated price of Sh109,320.
But Justice Jesse Njagi ruling delivered last week quashed and set aside the ruling of the lower court that had convicted the five suspects.
Justice Njagi in his ruling accused the lower court of failing to consider the fact that the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission was not properly constituted when the investigations began, rendering the entire trial null and void.
He further declined the plea by the prosecution to order a retrial on the same evidence, arguing that ordering another trial will put the prosecution in a quagmire.
The lower court found the five suspects guilty and fined them Sh300,000 for each count, failure to which they would serve a jail term of one and a half years each.