An Anti-Corruption court in Nairobi has quashed a case against former Elgeyo Marakwet County Assembly speaker, Albert Kipkogei Kochei ,on grounds that was a “malicious prosecution.”
Kochei won a double shot when the same court ordered the anti-corruption agency, EACC, and the ODPP to bear the cost of Kochei appeal at the high court in Nairobi.
Justice Hedwig Ong’udi said the charges, proceedings and prosecution in the Eldoret Chief Magistrate’s court were an abuse of the court process and directed that they be stopped on the strength of an order.
Kochei had been accused of eating travel allowances meant for an educational trip to the US he never attended but he challenged his prosecution.
EACC said Kochei later returned the money on March 18 2014 , some seven months and 10 days when he received a notice that he was being investigated for impropriety.
In his defence through Prof Tom Ojienda, the ex-speaker stated that administrative channels were bypassed in pursuing his prosecution at an anti-corruption court in Eldoret town.
Prof Ojienda told the court that the said cash was returned hence charging the speaker 2 years and five months later “smirked of malice.”
“The petitioner refunded the money on March 18 2014, on August 30 2015 a charge was preferred in court…this inordinate delay in bringing a prosecution in a matter that has been settled is evidence of abuse of office,” the lawyer submitted.
Prof Ojienda wondered why a charge had been pressed against the suspect “when a surrender had been made.”
He said the criminal process was being (ab)used to “oppress the public officer.”