DPP Haji angry over Governor Obado bail terms


Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) Noordin Haji. PHOTO| CITIZEN DIGITAL
Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) Noordin Haji. PHOTO| CITIZEN DIGITAL

In Summary

  • The DPP said Governor Obado was granted “wanting” bail terms by the court.
  • Speaking to Citizen TV on Tuesday evening, Mr. Haji wondered why the courts are allowing State officers to go back to their offices despite being indicted in serious cases, adding that as a country “we must have standards.”

The Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) Noordin Haji has expressed his displeasure over the manner in which the courts have been handling cases against high-profile individuals.

Citing an example of the case against Migori Governor Okoth Obado, who is facing charges of murder and is being probed for alleged corruption and possession of questionable firearms, the DPP said the county boss was granted “wanting” bail terms by the court.

Speaking to Citizen TV on Tuesday evening, Mr. Haji wondered why the courts are allowing State officers to go back to their offices despite being indicted for serious offences, adding that as a country “we must have standards.”

“I am actually concerned on this, we have taken cases to court, we have charged individuals be it governors or constitutional office holders or the Deputy Chief Justice (DCJ) herself. My concern is this. Most of them still remain in office. And the sad thing is that we still have orders to allow them to enjoy whatever it is and these orders are coming from the courts,” said the DPP.

“Some of the bail terms for example in a particular murder case to do with the governor are wanting. You saw him making presentations before development partners and this is somebody facing a murder charge, investigations on corruption… this is somebody who was found with unexplained guns in his premises.”

He added: “We must have standards and those standards need to be applied across board and the courts need to help us.”

The State prosecutor said while the presumption of “innocent until proven guilty” is in the law, the same law allows for public officers to step down when charged with offences until they are cleared of any wrongdoing.

“There is the issue of innocent until proven guilty, but our laws are clear that they (public officers) need to step aside until the issue is adjudicated upon.

“This is about the law. We have tried to make the courts see sense in interpreting this. But you have people going back to office and using their offices to subvert investigations and legal provisions that have allowed us to charge them,” he said.

Mr. Haji says he will be petitioning Parliament to review the law and have it be paramount that State officers step down once they are indicted for various crimes.

On October 24 this year, the court released Governor Obado on a cash bail of Ksh.5 million with two sureties of the same amount in a case where he is charged with the murder of Rongo University student Sharon Otieno.

Last week on Wednesday, the Governor was arrested over alleged possession of unexplained firearms. He was arraigned in court and freed on a Ksh.500,000 bond with surety of a similar amount or Ksh.200, 000 cash bail pending conclusion of investigations.

On the day he was arrested over possession of guns, Obado had accompanied Deputy President William Ruto to a meeting with international development partners, where he (Obado) made an address.

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Story By Benjamin Muriuki
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