Ngilu, Kamau cases to be heard together

Court cases against suspended Cabinet secretaries Charity Ngilu (Lands) and Michael Kamau (Transport) and six others will now be heard together.

A three-judge bench at the High Court ruled that the cases be combined since most of the charges are similar. Justices Mumbi Ngugi, Joseph Onguto and George Odunga also asked all the parties to submit their petitions in seven days.

Mr Kamau’s lawyers led by Cecil Miller had rejected the move arguing their case had different details. “Your honour the only common thing is the anti-corruption charges. We might be at different levels after the consolidation,” Mr Miller said.

He told the court that consolidating the cases would cause difficulty in the respondent’s matter.

Ms Ngilu, through lawyer Paul Muite and Kioko Kilukumi, had in June asked the court that she should be tried separately.

Ngilu’s lawyers had argued that the charges their client was facing were not related to those of the seven co-accused.

Mr Muite argued that whereas her co-accused were charged with fraud, she had only been charged with obstructing EACC officials from accessing crucial documents related to the 134.4-acre land.

“The application that Mr Kilukumi and I intend to make is for a separate trial and a separate charge sheet for the fifth accused. The charge against her does not relate to the others. This is a standalone count against Ngilu, no one is accused of this,” Muite said.

However Justice Mumbi said that since the petition raised the same issues, they would be combined. “We need to consolidate the matter because only one matter is not common,” she said.

Mumbi said any issues peculiar to a particular party can still be presented independently.

She also said that the cases were also about the constitutionality of the Ethnics and Anti-Corruption Commission and that no civil case would affect the proceedings.
The judges further directed that the two sides file their submissions in seven days and agreed issues in 21 days. The hearing will starts on October 22.

This article was published by The Standard on September 18