Director of Public Prosecutions(DPP) Noordin Haji has dealt a major blow after the Anti-Corruption court acquitted former KRA director and his wife of several graft charges relating to Ksh38 million tax evasion.
Milimani Chief Magistrate Douglas Ogoti freed Joseph Gikonyo and his wife Lucy Kangau who are also directors of Giche Limited of the corruption charges for lack of evidence.
“For the many reasons given in my ruling above including the finding that the charges against the accused are defective and the prosecution has failed to establish a prima facie case against them. The accused herein are acquitted under section 201 of the Criminal Procedural Code,” Ogoti ruled.
The magistrate noted that the six prosecution witnesses who testified in the case including the Investigating officer failed to table evidence to warrant the court put the accused on their defence.
In his ruling, Ogoti blasted the EACC and DPP for relying on evidence that was collected and urgency not charged with prosecuting the case.
He noted that EACC did not carry out independent Investigations against the accused but relied on the material present to them by KRA officials to charge the couple.
The two directors together with their company Giche limited had denied that on diverse dates between 2010 and 2015 in Mombasa, being directors of Giche Ltd, they fraudulently failed to pay Ksh38,692,694 in taxes arising from the company’s taxable income and accrued penalties.
However, following the acquittal defence lawyer Abbas Esmail and Gibson Kimani said that the accused should not have been charged in the first place as EACC did not have evidence against them
He said that the accused were embossed in the manner in which they were arrested and dragged into court without cogent evidence to support the allegations against them.
Upon acquittal, the couple were overcome by emotions and sobbed but eventually thanked the court for exercising its jurisdiction judiciously
“I thank God for justice has been done and l have been vindicated alongside my wife,” said Gikonyo former KRA assistant Director based at Mombasa office.
Today’s decision is the first corruption case against a high ranking government officer to be acquitted under section 201 of the CPC by Anti-Corruption Chief Magistrate Douglas Ogoti.