President Uhuru Kenyatta has picked Noordin Haji to replace Keriako Tobiko as the Director of Public Prosecutions.
The DPP selection panel shortlisted three applicants, including Lucy Kambuni and Jacob Nyakundi.
Noordin is the son of Garissa Senator Yusuf Haji.
He has had a career spanning many years at the National Intelligence Service as its deputy director.
If vetted and approved by the National Assembly, he will take charge of the office of the DPP previously held by Tobiko, who was appointed Environment CS.
Noordin will prosecute those charged by the police and other investigative agencies with criminal offences while upholding, protecting and promoting human and constitutional rights.
He will also be expected to take over and continue any criminal proceedings instituted or undertaken by another person or authority.
The nominee will be expected to advice government ministries, departments and state corporations on criminal law.
Other functions include; To address parliamentary questions relating to administration of criminal justice, undertake criminal proceedings against any person before court other than a court martial in respect of any offences alleged to have been committed by that person.
The office of the DPP has had four previous prosecutors. They are Tobiko, lawyer Philip Murgor, Justice Bernard Chunga and Pamela Kidullah, who was appointed in 1999.
Tobiko was the holder of the office and the first under the new Constitution.
He is an advocate of the High Court and formerly a lecturer at the University of Nairobi.
He is an alumni of the University of Nairobi and Cambridge.
Lawyer Philip Murgor was appointed to the position in 2013.
His vigour was tested during the Anglo Leasing scandal, which resulted in prosecutions of former top civil servants. Murgor was als part of the team that represented former President Daniel Moi in petitions challenging his win in the 1992 election in his lawyer capacity. But he was fired days after a public outcry against the withdrawal of a murder case against Thomas Cholmondeley charged with the murder of Samson Sisina, a KWS ranger. The case was put to an end by Murgor who terminated the charges on instructions of the Attorney General. In terminating the charges, Murgor directed police to carry out an inquest which never materialised.
Others claimed he was fired for his queries on the Sh6.4 billion cocaine seized by police in December 2004.
Justice Bernard Chunga is remembered most for the infamous Mwakenya crackdown. This saw several activists detained without trial. Chunga was former Moi’s first appointee to the office. As Deputy Public Prosecutor, he was the lead counsel in the commission of inquiry into Robert Ouko’s death. He was also the prosecutor at the trial of Jonah Anguka, a former DC implicated in Ouko murder.
In 2003, a tribunal headed by former House Speaker Francis Kaparo was established to investigate Chunga’s conduct.
But instead, Chunga chose to step aside and remained defiant to the end. He termed those pushing for his exit as people engaged in propaganda.
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