Court upholds orders barring Governor Lenolkulal from accessing office
- Governor Lenolkulal, through his advocates, sought revision of the directions issued by the trial court which gave interim orders prohibiting him from accessing Samburu County government offices pending hearing and determination of his case.
A Nairobi court on Wednesday declined to review orders sought by Samburu County Governor Moses Lenolkulal seeking to be allowed to access his office.
Governor Lenolkulal, through his advocates, sought revision of the directions issued by the trial court which gave interim orders prohibiting him from accessing Samburu County government offices pending hearing and determination of his case.
The county chief, in his application, had argued that – since he is a holder of a constitutional office – even though he is charged with an offence of corruption he should continue in office during trial.
Justice Mumbi Ngugi, in her ruling however, stated that she looked beyond the interests of the individual holder of the constitutional office and considered the needs of the wider public interest.
“In the matter before me, the governor of a county, to whom Article 10 and Chapter 6 apply is charged with the offence of abuse of office. He is charged with basically enriching himself at the expense of the people of Samburu County who elected him and whom he is expected to serve,” read the judgement.
“Would it serve the public interest for him to go back to office and preside over the finances of the county that he has been charged with embezzling from? What message does it send to the citizen if their leaders are charged with serious corruption offences, and are in office the following day, overseeing the affairs of the institution?”
She further added: “How effective is the prosecution of such state officers be, when their subordinates, who are likely to be witnesses are under the direct control of the indicted officers?”
Justice Ngugi further pointed out that she considered the implications of directing that the applicant does not access his office but also quoted the County Government Act that provides for the deputy governor as a substitute.
As such, she declined to exercise her powers of revision over the decision of the trial court in the matter.
Governor Lenolkulal, who is charged alongside 13 others, faces four counts including conspiracy to commit an offence of corruption, abuse of office and unlawful acquisition of property contrary to the laws of Kenya.
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