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High Court stops Ojienda’s prosecution in Sh200m Mumias Sugar scam

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The High Court has stopped the intended prosecution of Senior Counsel Tom Ojienda over allegations of falsely obtaining money from Mumias Sugar Company.

Justice Chacha Mwita certified the matter as urgent and said the application raises substantial issues of law.

He said the court ought to determine whether the Director of Public Prosecutions is acting properly or abusing his powers.

“Should the court come to the conclusion that DPP acted properly they will not have suffered any prejudice. So, there is need for this court to intervene,” he said.

Through Lawyer Okong’o Omogeni, Ojienda filed the application arguing that the DPP, in clear abuse of his constitutional powers, intends to charge him on matters that purely relate to a contractual relationship of an advocate and a client.

He said issues dealing with advocates-clients fees cannot form a foundation on which the DPP can prefer criminal charges against him.

Ojienda further submitted that the DPP is attempting to reopen similar issues pending before the Court of Appeal using the office of the DCI.

He branded the office of the DPP as a rogue institution and accused it of abusing its powers.

“What the DPP is saying is that he is the law unto himself. But he cannot be allowed to violate the rights of Ojienda whose a representative of lawyers, and a Senior Counsel by maliciously arresting him on a Friday and locking him in all through the weekend,” Omogeni said.

“This is the kind of abuse we want the court to bring to a halt.”

Also read:Lawyer Ojienda arrested over Sh200m loss at Mumias Sugar 

Lawyer Otiende Amollo said an advocate bill cannot be the foundation of a criminal prosecution. He said the six charges drawn againstOjienda are all related to advocate-client legal fees.

In a swift rejoinder, the DPP said an order seeking to stay a criminal prosecution is a drastic remedy in the sense that if it were to be issued ex-parte, it will be prejudicial.

Senior prosecution counsel Alexander Muteti told Justice Mwita that they should not be disadvantaged for not filing any papers in court in response to Ojienda’s application.

He said the issue before the Court of Appeal is not related to the matter at hand.

Muteti urged the court not to issue any orders, adding that there has been no material places before court to show the DPP is abusing his powers as alleged.

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