RIGHTLY CONVICTED

Ex-staffer at DPP's office loses appeal in abuse of office case

The former senior principal administrative officer was found guilty of stealing fuel lubricants and pitstop services valued at Sh7.9 million.

In Summary
  • Osoro argued that since other officers at the ODPP also made improper use of vehicles by taking unauthorised journeys he should not be the only one charged.
  • But Judge Mumbi Ngugi in her ruling said such an argument cannot be a defence to criminal conduct.
DPP Noordin Haji
ABUSE OF OFFICE CHARGE: DPP Noordin Haji
Image: FILE

The High Court has dismissed the appeal by a former staffer at the office of Director of Public Prosecutions who was sentenced to four years for abuse of office.

William Osoro was in 2018 charged with abuse of office. He casually directed the use of a fuel card for the purchase of fuel, lubricants and pit stop services valued at Sh7.9 million, an act that was prejudicial to the office of the DPP. 

The former senior principal administrative officer was found guilty of stealing fuel lubricants and pit stop services valued at Sh7.9 million.

He pleaded not guilty to the offences and after a full trial he was convicted and sentenced to pay a fine of Sh600,000 or in default serve four years imprisonment.

Dissatisfied with both his conviction and sentence, he appealed. Osoro argued that since other officers at the ODPP also made improper use of vehicles by taking unauthorised journeys he should not be the only one charged with a criminal offence.

But Judge Mumbi Ngugi in her ruling said such an argument cannot be a defence to criminal conduct.

“That other officers also failed to observe internal processes or misused government vehicles does not exonerate the appellant from culpability for his abuse of office in the arbitrary use of the fuel card,” she said.

Osoro also claimed that the trial magistrate erred in law when she held that he had custody of the fuel card at issue since 2013 when there was no evidence to support such a finding.

He also contended that the trial court erred in finding that he had failed to record usage of the card in a register to the prejudice of the ODPP. His contention on this ground is that there was no such obligation placed on him.

But Ngugi in her finding said the trial court properly found that Osoro in abuse of his office casually directed the use of card number 3953 for the purchase of fuel, fuel lubricants and pitstop services to the loss of the ODPP.

 

Edited by Henry Makori