Haji to recover Sh82.5b from corruption suspects

Mercy Mwai @wangumarci

The Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) Noordin Haji plans to recover a total of Sh82.5 billion from both ongoing and concluded graft cases.

The DPP told Parliament he targets Sh72.5 billion from 283 ongoing cases and Sh10 billion more from 290 already concluded cases.

Appearing before the Justice and Legal Affairs Committee (JLAC) chaired by Baringo North MP William Cheptumo, he said the Sh72.5 billion will be recovered from senior government officials in the graft cases.

Among those that his office is seeking to recover the money from include nine former ministers, cabinet secretaries and principal secretaries, five sitting governors and their deputies, 13 senators and members of the National Assembly, 73 senior county officials representing 49 per cent of the cases.

Others are 40 chief executives, directors and other senior government officials representing 26.8 per cent as well as nine other individuals, who fall under the category of secretary general, company secretary, chairman, advocates and administration directors.

Economic crimes

The huge amount of money that this office seeks to recover include Sh29 billion from Imperial Bank after the bank officials were suspected to have been involved in an Sh80 billion fraud case that led to the collapse of the financial institution well as Sh6 billion from one of the Anglo Leasing cases.

According to Haji, since 2014, a total of 582 corruption and economic crime cases were registered in court out of which 78 suspects have been convicted, 110 cases ended in acquittals, 102 cases withdrawn as a result of a Court of Appeal decision in the former Cabinet Secretary Michael Kamau case where the court said Ethics and Anti Corruption Commission (EACC) was not properly constituted, seven cases consolidated and two cases suspended following court orders.

“Since 2014, 582 corruption and economic crime cases were registered. 283 cases are ongoing with some cases involving senior government officials,” he said.

At a meeting together with top officials of EACC, Haji also told the committee that his office has so far received 850 inquiry files from EACC for review and direction from January 2014 to March.

 This year alone, beginning January he disclosed that EACC has submitted 107 inquiry files with most of the cases investigations commenced between three to five years ago.

Following the move, he disclosed that his office has directed that 58.2 per cent of files for the prosecution ensure, 18.3 per cent for closure, 8.5 per cent for administrative action and 13.6 per cent for further investigations.

He disclosed that while previously, cases emanating from the Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI) were charged under the Penal Code and other legislation, due to the emerging trends of economic crimes, the DPP has adopted the strategy to charge under the Anti-Corruption and Economic Crimes Act (Aceca).

Embezzlement of funds

“On analysis of the submitted files, it was noted that most of the files, investigations commenced more than five years back. No explanation was given for the inordinate delay. It’s instructive to note that a majority of the inquiry files were not of such a complex nature as to have taken years before submission.”

EACC chief executive Twalib Mbarak said the biggest part of their investigations touches on governors at 49 per cent.

He said it is regrettable that in counties, the level of embezzlement of funds is astounding yet counties came into operation in 2013.

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