NOT TAKEN PLEA

Kirinyaga officials accuse DPP of delaying their graft case

Question why the alleged bribe giver has been lined up as a state witness

In Summary

• Samuel Mwangi Muriithi and Joseph Muriithi Njeru were arraigned on counts of soliciting a bribe, receiving a bribe, abuse of office and conspiring to commit an offence of corruption. 

• On Monday, they were arraigned before a Kerugoya magistrate court but did not take a plea, two years and eight months later. 

Samuel Mwangi Muriithi and Joseph Murithi Njeru before a Kerugoya court .
Samuel Mwangi Muriithi and Joseph Murithi Njeru before a Kerugoya court .
Image: WANGECHI WANG'ONDU

Two Kirinyaga county officials charged with receiving a bribe of Sh303,000 in October 2018 have accused the public prosecutor of delaying their case. 

 Samuel Mwangi Muriithi and Joseph Muriithi Njeru were arraigned on counts of soliciting a bribe, receiving a bribe, abuse of office and conspiring to commit an offence of corruption. 

On Monday, they were arraigned before a Kerugoya magistrate court but did not take a plea, two years and eight months later. 

Muriithi is a director in charge of alcoholic drinks in Kirinyaga Central subcounty while Njeru is an administrator. 

Their lawyer Ndegwa Njiru asked the Director of Public Prosecutions to follow the law in handling all cases.

The suspects made an application challenging the charges. They questioned why the alleged bribe giver has been lined up as a state witness and not as an accused. 

Lawyer Njiru discredited the charges, saying it is a travesty of justice to use the bribe giver as the state witness in the case instead of charging him.  

Njiru told the court that the blades of the law should be sharpened on both ends and target all perpetrators.

“All parties are equal before the law and should be subjected to a fair trial that is in conformity with the Constitution. The office of the DPP is using discriminatory means when charging the recipient and exonerating the giver who now wants to be used by the state as a witness. The DPP does not enjoy the luxury of who to charge and who not to.”

“Who has absolved him of his criminal activity? Will the court give the accused a fair trial and serve them justice? What wisdom did the office of the DPP apply while separating both parties and who or what might have influenced its decision ?” Njiru asked.

The suspects want the court to order a probe into the conduct of the witness. 

Chief magistrate A.K Ithuku said he will give his ruling into the applications raised on May 5.

The suspects were released on a cash bail of  Sh100,000 per suspect.

“The accused are not a flight risk. They have all along complied whenever summoned. One of the accused is taking care of the wife while the other has a deceased father,” Njiru said in bail application submissions. 

 

(edited by o. owino)