Bungoma regional representative of the Directorate of Public Prosecution (DPP), John Oyimbo, is a man under siege following constant bribery accusations by local officers from the Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI).
According to reports, Oyimbo has in the recent past clashed with the DCI officers in many of the cases being handled by the officers.
At the centre of deep divisions between the officers, who are supposed to work jointly to provide high-quality prosecution services, is bribery allegations.
The local DCI officers accuse Oyimbo of frequently interfering with the work of the investigators.
This includes demanding to go through high-profile cases with a view of interfering with the charges.
Investigators, who sought anonymity, due to the sensitivity of the matter, told a local media that Oyimbo has in many cases watered down water-tight evidence after receiving bribes from suspects.
“Our office is a top market place for the man. Whenever he hears of any sensitive case he would demand the file and later initiate bribery deals with the suspects before watering down charges against them,” the source disclosed.
In doing this the man, who has earned himself a crook title, uses his position as a prosecution officer in total disregard of the values of the office. Thus, tainting the image of the office of the DPP and its boss Noordin Haji who has vowed to end impunity in the country.
Officers privy to the matter say Oyimbo, through his crooked deals in capital offences ranging from robbery with violence to murder, has slowed investigations as officers often get demoralized in following crucial cases.
“To him, what is considered as a capital offence is a real opportunity to strike a lucrative deal and his peculiar behaviour has been slowing down the work of the police who feel demoralized,” another source revealed.
In the past, bribery allegations put Oyimbo in an awkward position after he was confronted for taking a bribe that saw charges against a murder suspect reduced to manslaughter.
Reports indicate that the scuffle almost led to a fist fight, with local police officers vowing to teach him a lesson.
The incident followed the arraignment of a local youthful tycoon at Bungoma High Court. The man had been arrested in connection to the murder of a University student at a local joint.
Sources privy to the matter said police felt shortchanged shortly after the suspect was set free.
The police rearrested the suspect leading to a bitter exchange with Oyimbo who they accused of taking a bribe from the tycoon. They accused him of taking off with the prosecution file when they were about to charge the suspect for failing to submit his firearm license that had been cancelled.
Following the bitter confrontation, Oyimbo was dropped from representing the DPP after the victim’s family complained of unjust process.
In a recent case, the DPP representative was on the spot once again after he attempted to water down robbery charges to a lesser ‘malicious damage’.
The case in question involved seven senior employees of Bungoma County government who were charged with robbery with violence and damaging property when they attacked residents and activists who were protesting the construction of controversial KSh1.38 billion road.
The accused included: County Logistics director Celestine Mutaki, Protocol officer Jonathan Chenjeni, County Deputy Governor’s driver Henry Kitui, County driver Vincent Maunda, Antony Wamala and Adams Mulama.
They were accused of robbing Zachariah Barasa of Ksh 400,000, a mobile phone, laptop and a power bank on May 17.
They also faced a charge of damaging a Mercedes Benz belonging to Moses Lukoye.
During the protests, the locals sought answers as to why Governor Wycliffe Wangamati channelled the billions to a project which according to them is the responsibility of the Kenya National Highways Authority (KeNHA).
The county officials allegedly hired goons to silence the irate crow.
The local DCI officers are now urging the office of the Directorate of Public Prosecution to take necessary actions against Oyimbo before the crisis at hand gets out of hand.