Ksh7.3 Billion Gachagua Corruption Case Dropped

The ruling was delivered on Thursday, November 10 by Senior Principal Victor Wakumile.

Ksh7.3 Billion Gachagua Corruption Case Dropped
Deputy President Rigathi Gachagua smiling during a past address. /FILE

The Ksh7.3 billion corruption case against Deputy President Rigathi Gachagua has been dropped by the Anti-Corruption Court.

The ruling was delivered on Thursday, November 10 by Senior Principal Victor Wakumile.

"There being no objection to the substantive application by the prosecution to have the matter withdrawn under section 87A of the Criminal Procedure Code, the application is hereby granted.

"The accused persons are hereby warned and informed that they may be re-arrested in the future and on the same or similar charges," he ruled. 

DP Rigathi Gachagua arrives at the Milimani Courts in July 2021. /FILE

The Office of the Directorate of Public Prosecutions (ODPP) under Noordin Haji had applied to withdraw the corruption case on the basis of insufficient evidence. He also held the Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI) responsible for the investigations’ inaction.

During the court proceedings, the lead prosecutor, Kuria Obadiah stated that withdrawing the charges would allow the team to carry out further investigations and review the case.

"In light of the request to review, the prosecution team sat and reviewed the evidence and realized that we were not able to respond to the letters without the evidence we had requested from the DCI at the time we were charging."

"DCI did not respond to our request, nor did they avail the original files and the exhibits required to enable us to study the file again," the ODPP stated. 

Obadiah also acknowledged that his former boss George Kinoti had pushed for charges to be brought against Gachagua, but the officer denied any political motivation behind the case.

Kuria Obadiah informed Victor Wakumile, the magistrate, that he was not a member of the team that detained Gachagua.

The DP, through his lawyer Kioko Kilukumi, welcomed the decision by the ODPP to withdraw the charges against him- while maintaining that the case was politically instigated by the previous government. 

"He was subjected to intense humiliation driven at neck brake speed from Nyeri to DCI headquarters. He was never presented to court until July 26, 2021," Kilukumi stated. 

The DP was accused alongside nine others of fraudulently obtaining Ksh7.4 billion through unscrupulous government operations. They included former Mathira CDF manager William Mwangi Wahome, Ann Nduta Ruo, Julianne Jahenda Makaa, Samuel Murimi Ireri, Grace Wambui Kariuki, Lawrence Kimaru, Irene Wambui Ndigiriri, David Reuben Nyangi Nguru, and Rapid Medical Supplies Ltd.

Gachagua was charged with six counts that comprised acquiring proceeds of crime, conspiracy to commit corruption, conflict of interest, money laundering, and fraudulent acquisition of public property.

The nine were charged with conspiracy to commit corruption by allegedly defrauding the Nyeri County Government of Ksh27.4 million for the provision of dialysis machines to the Nyeri Provincial General Hospital.

Director of Public Prosecutions, Noordin Haji. /FILE