Kenya Ports Authority (KPA) Managing Director Dr. Daniel Manduku’s bid to stop his arrest was on Tuesday dealt a blow, with the High Court declining to stop his arrest and prosecution over alleged graft.
In his ruling, Mombasa High Court Judge Erick Ogola also dismissed Manduku’s claim that by probing the Ksh.1.4B concrete barrier contract, Director of Criminal Investigations (DCI) George Kinoti had encroached on the mandate of the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission (EACC).
“… He can still be arrested if DPP decides to do that, as at now, the petitioner has not been arrested and is still discharging the duties of his high office…,” read the ruling.
Through his legal team, led by Senior Counsel James Orengo, Manduku accused DCI Kinoti of conducting malicious, illegal, discriminatory and selective investigations against him and some senior port officials, over the execution of projects authorized by the Cabinet.
The DCI had listed 22 possible charges against Manduku and other senior port managers over alleged irregularities in projects, including the tender for manufacture of 17,940 pieces of concrete slab barriers without an approved budget from the National Treasury.
He was also cited for alleged loss of public funds in the rehabilitation of Kisumu Port.
Manduku was however handed a temporary reprieve when he was allowed a Ksh.500,000 anticipatory bail with the Judge further ordering law enforcers to apprehend Manduku with decorum.
“…The petitioner is granted a conservatory cash bond of Ksh.500,000, pending arrest should that happen during the pendency of this case.This cash bail automatically terminates and cease upon the first appearance in the criminal trial court if that happens…trial court will issue fresh bail terms, if that happens depending on the nature of charges, if any…,” read Justice Ogola.
Manduku, had through Orengo, Julie Soweto and Nelson Havi, sought interim orders stopping Inspector General of Police, Director of Public Prosecution, and DCI from arresting and prosecuting him.
Senior assistant Director of Public Prosecution Alexander Muteti however argued that DCI had unlimited power to investigate crimes committed by individuals and probing economic crimes was not an exclusive function of EACC.
“….as Kenyans we can’t begin to talk in half measures. We are either a full democracy that respects the bill of rights or we are not…in that case, the judge has been very bold, to say that in a democracy you don’t arrest people as if we are in that age where people were being guillotined…,” argued Orengo.
In total, DCI has been probing what it terms a Ksh.2.73B scam at KPA, with Manduku on the spotlight for authorizing the expenditure.
Other than the Ksh.1.4B for manufacture of concrete barriers, where the price of one barrier shot from Ksh.10,000 to Ksh.79,000 and Ksh.800M Kisumu rehabilitation mega projects.
There is also the Makongeni good shed yard project.
All eyes are now on DPP Noordin Haji, as he determines when and not if, Manduku will be arrested and arraigned to face corruption charges.
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