Activist Omtatah sues DPP Haji, wants him fired

By Sheila Mutua On Thu, 24 Sep, 2020 17:00 | 2 mins read
Noordin Haji.
DPP Noordin Haji. PHOTO | FILE

Activist Okiya Omtatah has sued the Director of Public Prosecution (DPP) Noordin Haji and wants the court to declare him unfit to hold public office.

The activist is accusing DPP Haji of entering into plea bargains with banks implicated in the National Youth Service scandal without the involvement of the Judiciary.

Further, Omtatah wants the court to temporarily stop DPP’s office and his agents from entering into plea bargains and/or deferred prosecution agreements, imposing fines on suspects, and setting them free in lieu of the suspects being charged in court. 

Omtatah argues that the DPP overstepped and abused his mandate and usurped judicial powers by purporting to have the power to enter into deals with and fine suspect banks by setting them free in lieu of their being charged in court. 

Besides, the activist claims that the issue of the fines only came to the public knowledge after the media on February 28, 2020, reported that the Standard Chartered Bank had paid a fine Sh100 million shillings to avoid prosecution.

In a further media report on March 5, 2020, The Business Daily reported that NYS II scam banks were fined a total of some Sh721 million and warned against insurance claims. 

It was reported that the five banks: Standard Chartered Bank, Diamond Trust Bank, Co-operative Bank, Equity Bank and Kenya Commercial Bank had opted to pay the DPP to save their executives from criminal prosecution under a plea bargain deal. 

Article 157 (8) of the Constitution of Kenya states that the DPP may not discontinue a prosecution without the permission of the court, a charge Omtatah is levelling against the current holder of the office.

But to have the DPP removed, the petition should be presented to the Public Service Commission, in writing, setting out the alleged facts constituting the grounds for removal of Haji.

Further, the petition must satisfy the PSC which then sends it to the President for the formation of a tribunal within 14 days and suspension of the DPP pending determination of the matter.

The tribunal’s role is to inquire into the matter expeditiously and report on the facts and make recommendations to the President, who shall act in accordance with the recommendations of the tribunal.

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