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DPP gives green light to withdraw charges in LBDA Sh4.2 billion case

By Nancy Gitonga
Tuesday, February 2nd, 2021
Lake Basin Development Authority Mall in Kisumu. Photo/PD/File
In summary

Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) Noordin Haji has given a greenlight to drop charges against several accused persons in the Sh4.2 billion Lake Basin Development Authority (LBDA) case, a Nairobi court heard yesterday.

When the matter came up for mention before Anti-Corruption Chief Magistrate Douglas Ogoti, Senior State Counsel James Kihara informed the court that his boss had late last week given a nod to have some accused persons in the matter against former Kisumu county assembly speaker Onyango Oloo, former LBDA managing director Peter Aguko, Bobasi MP Innocent Obiri and 23 others dropped.

“That Haji has reviewed the evidence on record and he has given a formal instructions to withdraw some accused persons and make them state witnesses.

But sought one month to communicate his decision to EACC and the names of the accused persons they intend to withdraw charges against and they record statement,” said Kihara.

The prosecutor however declined to inform the court the names and the number of the accused persons who they intend to drop charges.  

 In November last year, Kihara had indicated that the office of the DPP intended to drop charges against 14 accused persons in the matter.

Following the request, Ogoti granted the DPP more time to enable him to communicate his formal decision to the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission (EACC) on those he intends to drop charges against and record statements.

The court also granted the DPP one month file a new charge sheet in the Sh4.2 billion case. 

“The DPP is allowed 30 days to come up with amended charges in the case after putting his house in order.

l order fresh pleas to be on March 22 and pretrial conference in the matter to be heard on  April 1,” ordered Ogoti. 

In the case, the former speaker is accused of conspiring with the contractors including Zeyun Yang and Zhang Jing, directors of Edermann Property Limited to defraud the public billions of shillings. Erdemann Property Limited are accused of bribing Oloo, then chairman of the board.

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