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 A KSh. 34.9Million graft case touching on Tharaka Nithi Governor Muthomi Njuki and 21 others has kicked off at Embu courts after it was deferred by Milimani Law Court.

Tharaka Nithi Governor Muthomi Njuki (in blue coat) together with his lawyers in Embu Court. He is facing graft charges with 21 others. Photo/MWINGI TIMES CORRESPONDENT

Justice James Wakiaga had ruled that the Governor and his co-accused should have been charged in the place where the alleged offense took place.

Earlier this year's, a Milimani court referred the case seeking direction on where it should be prosecuted.

Njuki and 21 others are being charged with conspiracy to defraud Sh34Million from the county government through an unlawful tender process.

In the case, the defence lawyers had challenged the decision by the Director of Public Prosecutions to charge the accused persons in Nairobi instead of Tharaka Nithi or Embu counties.

And on November 16, the matter came up before Principal Magistrate Robinson Oigara and defence still questioned the jurisdiction of court.

Oigara said that the applications to address the jurisdiction of the Embu court was a notice of appeal which was yet to commence and thus it will not affect the case to go on.

He directed that all the parties to file their responses by way of written submissions before 14 days elapse adding that the jurisdiction was High court ruling and thus the parties were free to pursue their appeal.

No sufficient evidence

Led by State Counsel Daniel Karuri, the Prosecution also argued that the accused persons had not demonstrated with sufficient evidence the prejudice they would suffer if the matter was prosecuted in Nairobi.

In September last year, the Director of Public Prosecutions Noordin Haji ordered the arrest and prosecution of Governor Njuki and various county officials over the irregular award of a solid waste project contract.

According to the DPP, Westomaxx Investments Limited, a company that had submitted fraudulent documents, was awarded the tender at a cost of KSh.34,998,500.

A contract for the supply, installation and commissioning of an incinerator was hence entered into between the Chief Officer Environment, Fridah Muthoni and Westomaxx Investments Limited.

The contractor was issued with an LPO before the expiry of 14 days following the giving of a notification contrary to the Public Procurement and Asset Disposal Act, 2015.

Westomaxx Investments Limited then installed an incinerator they had procured from Generation Electronic & Allied Company Limited, a company which – as stated by the DPP – is associated with Governor Njuki.

Generation Electronic & Allied Co. Ltd had reportedly imported the generator to Kenya at a cost of KSh. 3, 879, 945.30.

The audit trail of the monies paid to Westomaxx Investments Limited by the Tharaka Nithi County Government revealed that it was wired to Japhet Gitonga Nyange (KSh. 8.7 million), Kenneth Mucuiya Ngai (KSh. 5.2 million), Kenstar Electrical and Hardware Limited (KSh. 4.7 million) and Caroline Sheila Wimbui (KSh. 0.98 million).

The case was fixed for 11 February 2022 for further direction by the court on various issues raised.


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