Court to rule on DPP’s application seeking to drop Ksh468M case against PS Lillian Omollo
The anti-corruption court will on July 17 decide whether to grant the Director of Public Prosecutions' request to dismiss charges against former Permanent Secretary Lillian Omollo, who has been accused of misappropriating Ksh468 million in the National Youth Service (NYS).
The application by the DPP to withdraw the charges against Omollo did not receive any opposition. The court date to determine the PS's fate was set by Milimani Magistrate Peter Ooko after the parties filed their plea on Friday morning.
The DPP plans to review the issue after receiving information from the ex-PS that the procurement procedure involving the relevant payments was completed before she was appointed to the Office of Public Service and Youth Affairs.
He further stated that none of the witnesses who have testified has provided any evidence that directly or indirectly incriminates Omollo and that the "allegations against her should be dropped".
"The prosecution humbly prays that this application be allowed and the charges against the first accused person be withdrawn under section 87A of the criminal procedure code," the DPP told the court.
On May 29, 2018, Omollo was accused among other high government officials, including former NYS Director-General Richard Ndubai, and suppliers of misappropriating Ksh468 million. They denied the charges, including abuse of power, conspiracy to conduct a crime and money laundering.
The case was initially presented to the court by the former DPP Noordin Haji, who was recently sworn in as the new National Intelligence Service Director General. Haji also applied to withdraw the case and received huge criticism from some of the politicians, which almost affected his vetting for the NIS job.
Some of the cases that Haji dropped include those of Deputy President Rigathi Gachagua, Public Service Cabinet Secretary Aisha Jumwa, and former National Health Insurance Fund (NHIF) executives, including former CEO Geoffrey Mwangi.
Omollo cleared to vie
Omollo had been authorized to run for office in 2022 despite the corruption accusations. The Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) has allowed Omollo to run for the Embu Senatorial seat.
NYS has had a fair share of scandals with different officials including the current Kirinyaga Governor Ann Waiguru. Kenya's director of public prosecutions summoned Waiguru in September 2015 to record a statement regarding the loss of Ksh791 million from the Ministry of Devolution and Planning.
Nicholas Gumbo, head of the Public Records Committee, said "he was looking into the ministry's records and found that the ministry had purchased costly things such as condom dispensers for $250, a television set worth Ksh1.7 million ($17,000), and sex toys."
Waiguru denied the charges, claiming that she is not involved in the ministry's purchases. She claimed that no funds had been stolen from the ministry's coffers and resigned from her ministerial position on November 22, 2015, in response to public and opposition pressure.
The Public Accounts Committee (PAC), chaired by Nicholas Gumbo, summoned Anne Waiguru, Josephine Kabura, Ndegwa Muhoro, Mutahi Ngunyi, Hillary Sigei, Nelson Githinji, and Ben Gethi, among others.
If the court approves DPP's wish to withdraw the case, the alleged losses could remain to be stories read by many, with unanswered questions in regard to the persons responsible for the corruption scandals.