Orengo leads Ojienda lawyers in fight to avoid plea taking


Orengo leads Ojienda lawyers in fight to avoid plea taking

Lawyers representing Tom Ojienda were on Monday fighting tooth and nail to prevent their client from taking plea.

Led by Senior Counsel James Orengo, the legal team appeared before Chacha Mwita seeking orders on three key issues.

The want orders barring the Director of Public Prosecution (DPP) and the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission (EACC) from arraigning Ojienda.

They are also seeking a stop to any further criminal investigations and searches at Prof. Ojienda’s office, arguing that it goes against the principle of client advocate confidentiality.

They are also fighting to have the prosecution barred from presenting the matter and any others touching on Ojienda’s professional services before other courts in the country.

Pundits claim that the orders against plea taking may be the deciding factor in determining whether Prof. Ojienda defends his seat at the Law Society of Kenya and at the Judicial Service Commission.

Prof. Ojienda is facing charges of uttering a false document to Mumias Sugar Company as legal fees.

“Between 5th June and 27th September 2012 at Mumias Sugar Company Limited within Mumias Sub County in Kakamega County, knowingly and fraudulently uttered to Mumias Sugar Company Limited a false document namely a fee note for Ksh.1,808,000 under the name Prof. Tom Ojienda and Associates regarding Kisumu Civil Appeal No.5/2012 while purporting to appear for the applicants namely James Kutsushi Atindo and 8 others versus Patrick Okuku and 8 others without instructions knowing that parties involved in Kisumu Appeal No.5/2012 were Lucas Gawa Osir vs Oniango Peter Sadia, a fact he knew to be false,” the charge sheet reads.

The DPP has since clarified that Court of Appeal Judge James Otieno Odek is not under investigation in the Mumias Sugar case but will be a State witness against Prof. Ojienda.

Justice Odek and Prof. Ojienda at one time worked together in the same law firm: Professor Tom Ojienda and Wanyama Advocates.

Lawyer Paul Wanyama has also revealed that he voluntarily recorded a statement at the DCI headquarters.

Report by Chemutai Goin

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