Kidero fails to stop two graft cases

Mr Evans Kidero in court on Tuesday. PHOTO | DENNIS ONSONGO | NMG

Former Nairobi governor Evans Kidero has failed to stop concurrent criminal and civil cases against him arising from alleged fraudulent transactions during his tenure at City Hall.

Dr Kidero wanted the Court of Appeal to stop his trial over claims that he fraudulently received Sh14 million in 2014, arguing that the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission (EACC) has at the same time initiated the recovery of the money through a civil suit.

It was his argument that there is a real likelihood of the courts entering different decisions over the same subject matter regarding his culpability. He also said allowing the cases to proceed concurrently is an abuse of the court process.

A bench of three judges of the appellate court, however, said the two cases stand on different legal thresholds and the processes can exist concurrently and independently of each other.

“There is no danger or prejudice of conflicting decisions nor has it been demonstrated that the outcome of the civil suit will have a bearing on the petition. Civil proceedings, as distinguished from constitutional Petition, are adjudicated and concluded by adopting different yardsticks,” Justices Hannah Okwengu, Fred Ochieng and John Mativo said.

Dr Kidero first moved to the High Court to quash the case arguing that it was brought by EACC to embarrass him, as he was facing criminal charges over the same money.

He further said there was nothing linking the money to City Hall and that the amount was from the sale of a Toyota Lexus to a company identified as Cups Ltd.

Justice Esther Maina, however, dismissed the case saying he was not persuaded that the suit was an abuse of the court process.  

“I am therefore unable to find that this case is an abuse of the court process or it is the public interest to stay or strike it out,” the Judge said. 

EACC filed the case seeking to recover Sh68 million allegedly stolen through a scheme orchestrated to defraud the county government for payment of fees in a case filed by a ghost company against City Hall. 

Also named in the case are former MP John Ndirangu, who has already been barred from selling or transferring a parcel of land in Thika town, which the anti-graft body says he acquired using proceeds of crime.

Others are former councilor Paul Mutunga Mutungi, former Dr Kidero’s chief of staff George Wainaina, John Ngari Wainaina, and MP Joshua Aduma, who was an acting legal secretary at city hall.

Dr Kidero had argued that there was nothing linking him to the money allegedly paid to a law firm before it was shared among former senior officials at City Hall. 

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