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DCI pursuing Ojienda ‘over Mumias cash’

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Prof Tom Ojienda. FILE PHOTO | NMG
Prof Tom Ojienda. FILE PHOTO | NMG 

Lawyer Tom Ojiendo is being investigated over loss of public funds at Mumias Sugar Company, the Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI) has revealed.

The DCI says in response to a suit seeking to block its investigation of Prof Ojienda that it is pursuing the top lawyer over the loss of the money at the Nairobi bourse-listed miller.

Prof Ojienda moved to court two weeks ago to block DCI detectives from arresting him, arguing the directorate was after him allegedly due to forged entries in his tax register and fictitious figures of his payments in legal fees.

But the DCI says the investigation is linked to affairs at the struggling sugar miller, Mumias Sugar, where the State has a stake and has recently pumped in billions of shillings in a bailout plan.

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“These investigations by the DCI are purely aimed at discovering whether Mumias Sugar Company or any other person was involved, aided, connived, and or facilitated in the commission of the crime under investigations,” the directorate says in court documents, adding that the probe will reveal whether government money was lost through fraud.

Prof Ojienda at one time represented Mumias Sugar. He is currently acting for former Mumias Sugar managing director Evans Kidero in his court battles with the anti-graft agency. The Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commissio (EACC) has been investigating Mr Kidero, also the former Nairobi governor, for alleged embezzlement of public funds while at the helm of the county government and Mumias Sugar.

The commission says it is investigating properties worth Sh9 billion linked to Mr Kidero, mostly land and buildings, in different parts of the country.

The former governor has accused the commission of overvaluing his assets and falsely listing him as the owner of some prime properties that do not belong to him in order to make the courts part of a harassment campaign against him.

On November 2, High Court judge Chacha Mwita prohibited the DCI and the Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA) from starting civil or criminal proceedings against Prof Ojienda in respect to the tax issue.

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