Former Kiambu Governor Ferdinand Waititu has asked an anti-corruption court to acquit him of all charges in the Ksh588 million case over the state's failure to call material witnesses in the case.
Through Lawyer John Swaka, Waititu and his wife Susan Wangari say the entire case levelled against them cannot stand, especially after the Tender committee was set free.
The charges against the committee were quashed after they moved to the High Court to challenge their prosecution. Waititu says the committee was central and pertinent to the entire case and in their absence, no charge whatsoever can lie against the accused persons.
“The prosecution cannot bypass the Tender Committee and now seek to charge the accused persons. The prosecution cannot purport to fault the outcome and approve the process,” Waititu said.
The former county chief has said there is no evidence that has been produced by the prosecution to warrant them being placed on their defence.
He said the expulsion of 17 documents which were being relied on by the prosecution to pin them down were rejected by the court. The remaining piece of documentary evidence he said is of no value in the absence of the 17 documents.
“The evidence currently on record is incomplete and requires reinforcement. No documentary evidence has been adduced to support the prosecution’s case and the offence can therefore not be proved. This exonerates the accused,” Swaka added.
In his submissions before the court, Waititu said the tender process was above board. He said the impropriety in the award of the tender to Testimony has not been shown and that the prosecution also failed to demonstrate that the monies disbursed by Charles Chege a director of Testimony to Waititu were as a consequence of the tender ward.
Waititu says that the charges against him were politically motivated.
In the case, Waititu and his co-accused person are facing trial over the alleged irregular award of a Ksh588,198,328 road construction tender to Testimony Enterprise Ltd
The former county boss is accused of knowingly acquiring an indirect private interest of Ksh25.6 million with respect to payments made to a county government’s contractor, Testimony Enterprises Limited.
Waititu is charged alongside his wife Susan Ndung’u and his trading company Saika Two Estate Limited. They have since denied the charges.
It is said that on diverse dates between October 2018 and January 2019 Waititu and his wife being proprietors of the said company jointly received money from Testimony Enterprises while having reason to believe that the amount was acquired from Kiambu County through corrupt conduct.
The prosecution had argued that Testimony presented fake documents and fake academic certificates to clinch the tender.
This according to them reinforced the element of corruption. But Swaka faulted the state for failing to call those individuals to court as witnesses.
He said that assertion by the prosecution was meant to paint the said accused as a skewed and corrupt entity. “It is not the obligation of an employer to verify certificates,” he said.
But the prosecution in asking the court to place the accused persons on their defence said they were able to establish that from Testimony’s fraudulent dealings, they were awarded the road tender in question.
“We submit that having established that the directors misrepresented the fact that they had skilled personnel and further that they were sub-contracted by China wu yi they decided the tender evaluation committee that they were compliant with all requirements,” the prosecution said.
They also said that from the evidence on record, they have established Waititu did acquire an indirect private interest of Ksh25 million from the road tender in question.