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Graft: EACC arrests Taita Taveta County Assembly Clerk

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The Clerk faces graft charges alongside the Deputy Speaker Mwadime Chao who has since pleaded not guilty to charges

Taita Taveta County Assembly Clerk Gadiel Maganga has been arrested after the High Court in Voi dismissed a case he had filed against EACC and ODPP seeking to stop his arrest and prosecution over the fraudulent expenditure incurred in the bonding trip by 21 MCAs to Zanzibar in 2022.

Sitting in Voi, Justice George Dulu on 25th April 2024 declined to issue the orders sought paving the way for prosecution.

The arrested suspect was escorted to EACC Mombasa Regional Offices for processing pending arraignment.

The Clerk faces graft charges alongside the Deputy Speaker Mwadime Chao who has since pleaded not guilty to charges.

The Commission’s investigations established that a total of Ksh17 million was spent on the trip out of which Ksh 9 million was directly paid to the organizers for logistics while Ksh 8 million was paid as imprest to 30 officials, including 21 MCAs.

The County Assembly used forged documents to account for the fraudulent expenditure. The officials were overpaid while some of those who received allowances did not travel.

The High Court’s decision refusing to stop the prosecution of the Clerk comes a day after former Chief Justice Maraga cautioned against judicial forum shopping in the pursuit of conservatory orders stopping the arrest, suspension and prosecution of graft suspects.

While opening a media workshop organized by EACC in Kasarani, the former Chief Justice called upon EACC to promptly engage the Chief Justice and President of the Supreme Court for a possible review of the applicable Practice Directions towards ensuring that all Applications arising from corruption charges are henceforth filed at the High Court Division on Anti-Corruption and Economic Crimes, which was established for that purpose.

Justice Maraga also said that Applications currently pending before various High Court stations across the country should be considered for referral to the specialized High Court Division.

This is not only essential for the development of the law but also for taming the rising and clear cases of judicial forum shopping.

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