The High Court in Mombasa has ruled that State Officers should not represent public officers linked to graft cases.
In a ruling delivered on Tuesday, April 27, Justice Ogola said state officers who double up as lawyers should not represent the suspects as the acts amount to conflict of interest.
Consequently, the judge barred Siaya Senator James Orengo or any other state officer from appearing for former Kenya Ports Authority (KPA) Managing Director Daniel Manduku in a Sh244 million procurement graft case against him.
Orengo has been appearing for Manduku alongside the Law Society of Kenya (LSK) President Nelson Havi and Julie Soweto.
The Office of the Directorate of Public Prosecutions (ODPP), which had filed the application, termed the ruling a major win in the fight against graft in the country.
“High Court sitting in Mombasa has ruled that state officers should not represent public officers accused of corruption because they oversight them,” the Noordin Haji-led directorate said in a statement on Tuesday.
“Justice Ogola ruled that such participation by state officers as counsels for accused persons in such proceedings would be in conflict with their statutory and Constitutional duty.”
Justice Eric Ogolla in this regard barred Siaya Senator SC James Orengo and any other state officer from appearing for former @Kenya_Ports CEO Daniel Manduku in a graft case facing him.@CrimeScribesKE #HakiNaUsawa#TukomesheUfisadiu
— Office of The Director Of Public Prosecutions (@ODPP_KE) April 27, 2021
Manduku and his co-accused Works Officer Juma Fadhili Chigulu are jointly accused of conspiring to commit an offence of corruption by approving procurement of concrete barriers works with a contractual sum of Sh1.4 billion without a budget approval.
The two, who are out on bail, are also charged with engaging in procurement for a manufacturer of the concrete barriers without prior planning.
KPA is said to have made an overpayment of Sh244, 837,908 to contractors for work not completed.
The offences, according to the prosecution, were committed between March 29 and August 22, 2019 at the KPA headquarters in Mombasa.
The case will be mentioned on May 11, 2021.