High Court overturns decision to acquit former Devolution PS, 22 others implicated in NYS graft

By , K24 Digital
On Thu, 28 Jul, 2022 13:25 | 2 mins read
court stops vetting
Court gavel. PHOTO/Courtesy

The High Court has overturned a lower court decision to acquit former Devolution and Planning Permanent Secretary Peter Mangiti and 22 former senior NYS staffers over the Ksh47.6 million graft case.

In a judgement delivered by Justice Esther Maina of the High Court Anti-Corruption division, she set aside a lower court decision and ordered Mangiti and his co-accused persons to be put on their defence over the corruption allegations.

"The court has considered the appeal by DPP against the 23 respondents in this matter and finds that the same has merit. The accused are put on their defence in counts 1,2,3,4,5,6 and 7," Justice Maina ruled.

In her decision, the judge found that there were certain areas of procurement breaches in the award of the tender to supplying training materials for the automotive Engineering Department at NYS to Blue star enterprises

As a consequence, the court found that the Trial magistrate Kennedy Bidali erred in acquitting them under section 210 of the Criminal Procedure Code (CPC).

The judge has ordered them to appear before Milimani Anti-Corruption chief Magistrate Lawrence Mugambi in September for their defence hearing.

The decision by the court comes after DPP, through senior state counsel Joseph Riungu last year moved to the High Court seeking orders to quash the lower court decision of acquitting former Devolution and Planning Permanent Secretary Mangiti, former NYS Deputy Director General Adan Harakhe and former Ministerial Tender Committee chairman Hassan Noor and 20 others of the graft charges.

DPP say court acquitted NYS suspects without analyzing evidence

The DPP said in the appeal petition that the trial magistrate acquitted the officials without analysing all prosecution evidence.

Riungu also says that the learned magistrate erred in law by holding that the process of procurement was complied with and was in accordance with the law, despite the overwhelming evidence indicating otherwise.

In his renewed bid to have all the accused persons held liable over the graft case, the DPP says the decision to clear them was wrong and should be reversed.

“The trial magistrate erred in law in finding that the prosecution had not established a prima facie case against the accused on all counts when it had done so,” Riungu said in the appeal application.

He said the magistrate failed to analyse the weighty evidence brought against all the accused persons before ruling that there was insufficient evidence against them.

On March 8, 2018, the magistrate acquitted 23 out of 24 accused persons in Ksh47 million NYS graft case for lack of evidence.

Mangiti and 23 others were accused of conspiracy to steal from National Youth Service (NYS), unlawful disposal of public funds, abuse of office, willful failure to comply with procurement laws and fraudulent acquisition over the award of a tender to Blue star enterprises.

The prosecution claimed that Blue star enterprises were awarded the tender to supply training materials for the automotive Engineering Department at NYS through a fraudulent and unlawful procurement contrary to the objectives of the Public Procurement and Disposal Act.

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