Calls to disband EACC premature, DPP tells Senate

Calls to disband EACC premature, DPP tells Senate

Director of Public Prosecutions Noordin Haji has opposed calls for the disbandment of the Ethics and Anti-corruption Commission (EACC) saying it has ‘expertise’ to fight corruption.

Appearing before the Senate justice, legal affairs and human rights committee on Wednesday, Mr Haji said the calls to abolish the anti-graft agency were premature as the institution requires support to deliver on its mandate.

“Let’s give time to EACC and not make conclusions that it’s unable to deliver on its work, its needs to be supported adequately” Mr Haji told the committee.

The DPP said the EACC was one the critical institution in the fight against graft and doing away with it will be a wrong idea.

Aldai MP Cornelly Serem has already drafted a legislative proposal to abolish the commission and its powers transferred to the Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI).

Serem argues that despite the huge budget allocated to the commission to fight graft, it has little to show in its battle to eradicate graft.

“The EACC appears to have a lack of capacity, given that approximately 90 per cent of its cases are thrown out of court due to lack of evidence or mishandling of cases,” Mr Serem explained.

However, the DPP defended the Eliud Wabukhala led commission arguing its existence has helped scale up the fight against corruption.

“EACC has experience and expertise in dealing with corruption cases,” Mr Haji advised.

Earlier, Haji said since he assume office in April, the EACC had forwarded him  about 57 cases on top state officers including ex and sitting governors, senators and MPs but that serious gaps that needed to be addressed.

The committee chaired by Nandi Senator Samson Cheralegei had invited the DPP to appraise the senate on the status of corruption cases in the country

Further, the DDP revealed an establishment of a multiagency team compromising officials from his office, Directorate of Criminal Investigations, Central bank of Kenya and national Intelligence Service to probe several banks on the transaction of 9 billion National Youth Service scandal.

The team will be investigating one bank’s role in the transactions of 1.5 billion wired to Export Import limited in relation to Ruaraka land scam.

“Stiffer penalties for banks that will be found culpable for abetting graft, through their refusal to either report or negligence and conspiracy by bank tellers,” he reckoned.

The DPP earlier said his office cannot prosecute corruption cases forwarded by the EACC as evidence is insufficient.

However, said his office was looking at the files with a very independent eye.

“I assure this committee that we shall not bow to any pressure. I will not take up a case that I know will fail. This would mean failing the Kenyan people and contravening the vow to protect public property,” he said.

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