Blow to Dpp as Judge Sifuna takes over its Suspicious Case, DPP now worried

A bid by the office of the Director of Public Prosecutions to have the Sh30 million graft case facing former Kenya Pipeline Company MD Charles Tanui and two others handled by another judge other than Justice Nixon Sifuna has flopped.

The Judge has in the recent past called them out for withdrawing most of their cases.

The Judge recently condemned the trend by the said office saying;

“Regrettably, this practice is increasingly gaining notoriety and becoming fashionable in Kenya’s prosecutors. This practice is not only unorthodox but also a vice that the prosecutors need to urgently start disabusing themselves of.”

But the ODPP on Tuesday managed to obtain an order at the High Court temporarily stopping Tanui’s trial at the Magistrates Court.

The DPP moved to the High Court after Trial Magistrate Victor Wakumile declined an application to have them withdraw the graft case.

The order was issued by Justice Lilian Mutende.

She then directed the matter to be mentioned on Thursday for further directions.

The matter was then placed before Justice Esther Maina of the anti corruption division High court.

When it was called out, the DPP informed the court they were before it for further directions on their review application.

But advocate Ng’ang’a Mbugua representing Elias Maina Karumi also an accused person in the Sh30 million graft case said they will be opposing the application in which they want charges against all the three accused persons dropped.

He asked the court to consider referring the matter to Justice Sifuna as he had handled a similar application.

The Judge had recently dealt with a similar application in which he rejected an application to withdraw the case against Kenya Pipeline Corporation Chief Engineer Josephat Kipkoech Sirma.

He is charged alongside Tanui and Maina at the Magistrates court.

“similar matters should be decided by the same judge to avoid conflicting decisions and hence embarrassment,” said Mbugua.

However, the DPP strongly objected to having the matter placed before Sifuna because he had declined Sirma’s application.

“Let the revision be heard by a judge other than sifuna. Allow us three days to file an application seeking a reference of this matter to the chief justice to constitute a bench for we intend to raise substantial questions of law,” the DPP said.

After hearing from all parties, Justice Esther Maina referred the application to sifuna for hearing and determination.

“As to whether he shall hear it, I shall leave it to him,” said Maina.

She extended the orders suspending the criminal trial and directed the file be placed before Judge Sifuna on March 14 for directions.