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DPP accused of concealing evidence in Ojaamong’s graft case

The Director of Public Prosecutions Noordin Haji has denied concealing documentary evidence in a move aimed at fixing Busia Governor Sospeter Ojaamong in a Sh8 million graft case.

Prosecution lawyer Grace Murungi said in an affidavit that Ojaamong and eight others have a case to answer based on the totality of the evidence on record.

The county boss had accused the DPP of misleading the court by concealing documents likely to influence the ‘court’s mind’ in determining whether they have a case to answer or not.

Ojaamong also accused the investigating officers, who were prosecution witnesses, admitted to have received several documents that were relevant to the case but DPP chose not to supply to defence with the same documents.

DPP Noordin Haji in a past photo [p/courtesy]

But the DPP has dismissed claims that his team has documents relating to Busia county procurement plans.

“I believe this petition is a last ditch effort by Ojaamong to avoid or abort their trial before Magistrate Douglas Ogoti, which they desperately seek to avoid at all costs due to their inability to mount any credible defence to the charges they face there and the evidence presented against them during the course of the trial,” Murungi said.

Last week, the controversial governor obtained a court suspending the criminal proceedings before anti-corruption Magistrate Douglas Ogoti. The order was issued by Judge John Onyiego on the grounds that prosecution team led by Senior Counsel Taib Ali Taib was threatening and intimidating Ojaamong’s witnesses.

The governor was charged with abuse of office and other corruption related offences in 2018.

Ojaamong unilaterally signed an MoU with Madam R Enterprises Ltd in a project for a solid waste management system without any regards to procedures and laws governing the management of public finances and projects, leading to loss of Sh8 million.

DPP called 20 witnesses and closed its case on February 20 this year when the governor and his co-accused were subsequently placed on their defence.

The defence case started on July 20 with the testimony of Ojaamong and his witnesses but he later raised issues with how Taib questioned his witness Jairus Oriko.

Issues began after Taib said  “in fact after observing the witness, I am going to recommend to the investigating officers why they did not actually go for this guy.”

Ojaamong considers such threats as the reason why key witness who had already been identified and confirmed has since abandoned him and expressed his unwillingness to appear.

The witness is Moses Osia is still an employee at the county offices  who abandoned the process for fear of victimisation by the prosecution.

But the prosecution claims that Taib uttered the words after he observed the demeanours of the witness and the responses he had given to questions put to him during the cross-examination.

DPP has denied intimidating the witness saying the utterances by Taib were meant to stress the importance of testifying truthfully since he had chosen to give sworn evidence.

Haji also says that the defence has not proved that Moses Osia has failed to go to court due to the alleged threats.Mr Osia is a key witness in the case that will be heard October 19.

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