DPP Noordin Haji/ Courtesy.
NAIROBI Kenya, Nov 18- The Director of Public Prosecutions is going after former Kenya Power CEO Samuel Gichuru and former Energy minister Chris Okemo, wanted in the UK to face theft and money laundering charges.
The DPP wants the extradition case against the two former bosses resumed, after petitioning the chief magistrate’s court to issue summons for the duo to attend court on Wednesday December 2 when the case will be mentioned after a 10 year hiatus.
The extradition process stalled due to legal challenges as well as wrangles between the office of the DPP and the Attorney-General over who should institute the action.
On November 5, 2021 the Supreme Court ruled that the mandate to start extradition proceedings falls with the public prosecutor, not the Attorney-General, allowing the DPP to push for the transfer of Gichuru and Okema to Jersey Island.
The pair is wanted by the Royal Court of Jersey for accepting bribes from foreign businesses that won tenders at Kenya Power with the proceeds wired to the island territory.
“We have already located the file and served that letter to advocates of the accused persons – Fred Ngatia, Waweru Gatonye and Ogeto Otachi. We are now waiting for the court to give the summons,” said special public prosecutor Taib Ali Taib.
The British High Commission forwarded the request to extradite Okemo and Gichuru to the DPP when it was still a department at the AG’s office on June 6, 2011.
Before the request, the Jersey court had issued warrants for the arrest of the two on April 8, 2010, and April 20, 2011.
Okemo was the minister for Energy between 1991 and 2001 while Gichuru was the Kenya Power managing director between 1984 and February 2013.
Okemo was charged in the Royal Court of Jersey with 13 counts relating to the transactions in the accounts on July 1, 1999, and 2001.
On the other hand, Gichuru faced 40 counts for offences allegedly committed under Jersey law between 1991 and June 28, 2002.
The duo face a jail term of up to 14 years each if they are extradited to Jersey and found guilty of charges preferred against them.
“A person who is guilty of an offence under this article shall be liable to imprisonment for a term not exceeding 14 years or to a fine, or both,” says sections of the Proceeds of Crime (Jersey) Law.
The duo is wanted to face 53 counts linked to “commissions” paid by companies to win Kenya Power tenders and held in a Jersey account in foreign currencies: £4.45 million; $3.2 million and kr790,000 (totalling Sh1.04 billion at current exchange rates), according to Jersey court papers.