The High Court has upheld a four-year sentence meted out to William Ashael Osoro, a former senior principal administrative officer at the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions.
This is after Justice Mumbi Ngugi dismissed Osoro’s appeal seeking to quash the lower court’s decision to sentence him for four years over theft of fuel valued at Sh7.9 million at the office of the DPP.
“I find no merit in the appeal. It is hereby dismissed and the conviction and sentence upheld,” ordered justice Mumbi.
The former top transport officer had been convicted and sentenced by Nairobi Anti-Corruption Magistrate Teresia for arbitrary directing the use of a fuel card for the purchase of fuel, lubricants, and pit stop services valued at Sh7.9 million.
Murigi sentenced him to serve four years imprisonment or pay a fine of Sh 600,000.
Osoro was found guilty that between September 1, 2013, and April 25, 2018
he stole the fuel, lubricants, and pit stop services, which were the property of the DPP’s office.
Osoro had challenged his conviction on grounds that the trial magistrate erred in law by failing to take into considerations that the prosecution case had material inconsistencies.
“The trial court erred in law disregarding evidence in his favor and such failure occasioned a miscarriage of justice,” said Osoro.
Further, Osoro argued that he was charged because he had installed a tracking device on the vehicle used by the then DPP Keriako Tobiko.
He added that since the other officers in the office of the DPP made improper use of the vehicles by taking unauthorized journeys or failing to register a purchase in the fuel register, he should not be the only one charged with the criminal offense.
However, while dismissing his appeal the judge noted that the trial court observed that the DPP should endeavor to take necessary action against the officers who made unauthorized journeys and failed to observe internal processes or misused government vehicles.
However, the magistrate noted that the failure of others to observe internal processes does not exonerate Osoro from his culpability for his abuse of office in the arbitrary use of the fuel card.
The court, however, said his defense does not hold water as the auditor’s report which triggered this case was prepared even before Director of Public Prosecution Noordin Haji took office.
The court said the committee that was tasked to analyze the audit report on fuel management advised DPP Haji to refer the matter to the DCI head George Kinoti as it noted that there were fraudulent acts on the use of fuel cards.