The Court of Appeal has overturned the High Court ruling that directed the Engineers Board of Kenya (EBK) to suspend licences of two engineers behind the collapsed Sigiri bridge in Western Kenya that was built at a tune of Sh1.2 billion.
The fake engineers Godfrey Okumu and Oliver Wanyama rushed to the Court of Appeal after the High Court dismissed their case against the EBK.
The High Court ruling made in April 2018 ordered the board to suspend the two engineers for two years over professional misconduct.
The tender for the construction of the bridge was awarded to a chinese company, China Overseas Engineering Group Co. Limited (COVEC) in 2014 by the Kenya Rural Roads Authority (KeeRA) but the firm later sub-contracted the companies belong to the two.
to provide design engineering services for the project. Scope of services by the local companies was a ‘Project Manager’ and ‘Structural Engineer’.
The companies are BAC Engineering and Architecture Limited (BAC) and Interphase Consultants Limited (Interphase) owned by Okumu and Wanyama respectively.
They were contracted to coordinate all the consulting services and the consulting team, conduct field surveys, planning and design of the project and presentation of the reports to the employer.
They were also hired to clarify design standard/codes, make detailed design of bridge works and to prepare the technical specifications and bills of quantities for structural works.
But the expensive bridge collapsed on June 26, 2017 with a number of masons who were on site sustaining injuries.
The accident pushed the EBK to commissioned an ad hoc inquiry committee, to probe the the cause of collapse.
The committee in it’s report blamed the two for professional misconduct.
“The wrong sequencing was as a result of failure to follow standard design requirements and adhere to standard construction procedures.” the report reads in part.
The board directed the two engineers to appear before the committee to answer to the charges of professional misconduct and breach of professional obligations in violation of the Engineers Act and the Code of Ethics Conduct, 2016.
They were also found to be running businesses without prior registration by the Board.
But they denied all the charges claiming they worked and delivered in strict adherence of the Building Code, and the instructions issued by COVEC.
The decision by the Appellate court has now overturned the suspension of the two engineers.