The Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) Noordin Haji has expressed his concern over the manner in which the courts have been handling cases against high-profile suspects.
Citing an example of Migori Governor Okoth Obado, who is facing murder charges, the DPP said the court granted him “wanting” bail terms.
Speaking in an interview with Citizen TV, Haji questioned why the courts are allowing State officers to remain in office despite facing charges such as murder in Obado’s case.
“I am actually concerned on this, we have taken cases to court, we have charged individuals be it governors or constitutional office holders or the Deputy Chief Justice (DCJ) herself. My concern is this. Most of them still remain in office. And the sad thing is that we still have orders to allow them to enjoy whatever it is and these orders are coming from the courts,” said the DPP.
“Some of the bail terms for example, in a particular murder case to do with the governor, are wanting. You saw him making presentations before development partners and this is somebody facing a murder charge, investigations on corruption… this is somebody who was found with unexplained guns in his premises.”
The DPP further observed that as a country “we must have standards.”
“We must have standards and those standards need to be applied across the board and the courts need to help us.”
The State prosecutor stated that the law requires public officers to step down when charged with offences until they are cleared.
“There is the issue of innocent until proven guilty, but our laws are clear that they (public officers) need to step aside until the issue is adjudicated upon.
“This is about the law. We have tried to make the courts see sense in interpreting this. But you have people going back to office and using their offices to subvert investigations and legal provisions that have allowed us to charge them,” Haji said.
Noordin Haji said he plans to petition Parliament to review the law so that State officers are forced to step down once they are indicted for various crimes.