No reprieve for NLC officers in Sh109m graft suit as harassment claims dismissed

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Economy

No reprieve for NLC officers in Sh109m graft suit as harassment claims dismissed

 

A judge has dismissed a petition by two officials of the National Land Commission (NLC) who sought protection, accusing the anti-graft agency of harassment.

Salome Munubi, a director for valuation and taxation, and her deputy, Joash Oindo, filed the application before the High Court accusing Ethics and Anti-Commission (EACC) of victimising, intimidating and harassing them and their families in the guise of carrying out investigations.

Both have been charged, together with their spouses with corruption among other charges stemming from payment of Sh109 million to Tornado Carriers, for compulsory acquisition of land on behalf of the Kenya National Highways Authority.

Justice Mumbi Ngugi said she cannot stop an investigative agency from carrying out its mandate. She added that the two must demonstrate that they are likely to suffer real prejudice.

The two said EACC was undertaking what they termed as criminal profiling.

They further argued that the investigation had paralysed NLC operations, depriving it of its institutional autonomy and independence, especially after anti-graft officials seized some documents.

EACC on its part said that the two when asked the source of Sh1 million and $168,900 seized from Mr Oindo’s residence on May 4, 2017 they failed to satisfactorily explain how and where he got the money.

Dr Munubi said the move was a retaliation by EACC after she disclosed, in her affidavit, how they confiscated a sum of Sh600,000 from her house in October last year, during a search.

Mr Oindo also sought to be reinstated to his job, alleging that he was “forced” to go on compulsory leave without being given a hearing.

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