- They said the withdrawal of cases poses serious credibility concerns in the investigative capacity of our institutions.
- LSK president Eric Theuri demanded swift and elaborate explanations to the public within unspecified timelines or they will mount private prosecution of the cases dropped.
The Law Society of Kenya and other civil society groups have criticised Director of Public Prosecutions Noordin Haji's decision to drop several high-profile corruption cases.
The lobbies called for his resignation.
They said the move by the DPP can dent public confidence in the criminal justice system.
They said the withdrawal of cases poses serious credibility concerns in the investigative capacity of public institutions.
LSK president Eric Theuri demanded swift and elaborate explanations to the public within unspecified timelines or they will mount private prosecution of the cases dropped.
Theuri said the decision by Haji points to two scenarios: that the prosecutions were mounted for ulterior purposes whose end has been achieved or overtaken by events, or that the DPP has withdrawn the cases to aid an ulterior motive.
“The DPP, therefore, owes the country an explanation. If cases are being withdrawn for lack of evidence to sustain the charges, then the DPP must take responsibility and explain how the decision to charge was arrived at,” he said.
LSK also criticised the handling of the Principal Secretaries recruitment by the Public Service Commission, dismissing the process as predetermined and a charade.
Under the banner of the Red Card campaign, lobbies termed the spirited withdrawal of the cases as questionable, shocking and irreparably damaging to chapter six of the constitution.
They said that in exercising prosecutorial powers, the DPP must ensure there is regard for the public interest, the interest of the administration of justice, and the need to prevent and avoid abuse of the court process.
“The ODPP does not have the blanket unilateral powers to file and drop cases as it wishes but must be guided by the law and constitution,” they said.
The lobbies said the DPP has established an enviable practice of referring back files back to investigative agencies if the evidence is shoddy, and therefore the withdrawal of the cases questions his conduct in office.
“If the cases were mounted after a thorough review of the files, then the decision by the DPP to withdraw the charges now calls for a review of his conduct for possibly bringing on board faulty cases,” they said.
On Wednesday, Haji withdrew the Sh400 million case against former Kenya Power and Lighting Company managing director Ben Chumo.
He had been arraigned over transformers scandal
Haji also withdrew the Sh84 million corruption case against former Samburu governor Moses Lonolkulal and also corruption charges against former Malindi MP Aisha Jumwa.
Edited by Kiiilu Damaris