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Keriako Tobiko under fire from defence team for asking court to allow him amend charges against Shollei again

Gladys Shollei and lawyers Edwin Sifuna (center) and Paul Ngarua in the corridors of Milimani court (Photo: George Njunge/Standard)

The Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) wants to amend charges against former Judiciary Chief Registrar Gladys Shollei again.

Keriako Tobiko through Senior Assistant DPP Njagi Nderitu yesterday asked Senior Principal Magistrate Liz Gicheha to allow him to remove a part that indicates Mrs Shollei and six others were members of a pre-contract negotiations committee.

Mr Nderitu wants the section replaced with a claim that the seven held a pre-contract negotiations meeting.

“We come with clean hands and humbly pray that the prosecution be allowed to make the amendments. There is no prejudice whatsoever,” he argued.

But the defence team, composed of lawyers Paul Ng’arua, Tom Macharia, Edwin Sifuna and Jotham Arwa, said the prosecution was “trying to panel-beat and massage an already collapsed case” to achieve a pre-determined goal.

The magistrate heard that the State hatched the idea to amend the charges for a second time after realising that grave errors had been made before the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission forwarded the file to Mr Tobiko for recommendation.

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“When it comes to fundamental issues of defence where the first accused (Shollei) is being charged for being a member of some committee and after hearing six or so witnesses, your honour, don’t you find it odd for the prosecutor to say she is actually not a member of that committee at all?” Mr Ng’arua argued.

None of the witnesses, the court heard, had indicated the accused were members of the said committee.

“That is unfair to the defence as we had indicated that she was not a member of the alleged committee and we had told the prosecution to make amendments at the start of the case,” he added.

The defence asked the court to order the prosecution to withdraw counts one, two and three, which were centred on the accused persons being members of the committee.

Ng’arua argued: “The prosecution cannot be allowed to blow hot and cold in matters involving constitutional liberties. DPP failed to do his work when EACC forwarded the file to him. He just acted as a conveyor belt as he signed it and brought it here for Mr Nderitu to solve the problems.”

To the prosecution he said: “…go think over it, return the file back to the investigators if need be so that when we come back here you can make proper prosecution. I do not see why Mr Nderitu should not withdraw the charges.”

The DPP also asked the court to allow him to change the alleged downpayment of Garsen, Mavoko and Tawa courts from Sh150 million to Sh126 million.

The prayer too raised a storm as Mr Macharia, for Benedict Omolo, told the court that a difference of Sh14 million cannot be a clerical error. The court will rule on the prayers on May 15.

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