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Court grants DPP time to review graft charges against Kakamega Deputy Governor Ayub Savula

The Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) Renson Mulele has been granted time to review charges against Kakamega Deputy Governor Ayub Savula and others in the Sh122 million government advertising agency theft case.

When the matter came up for hearing on October 25, 2023 before Milimani Chief Magistrate Lucas Onyina, the prosecution requested indulgence of the court to enable them to take out the hearing dates of the case.

“Your honour, some of the accused persons wrote to the DPP requesting a review of the charges and upon review of the request, the DPP noted that there are new and compelling reasons that are new to the case,” the prosecution counsel told the court.

He added that the review may affect the cause of the hearing.

We seek two weeks to consult with the accused persons and their advocates before any decision is made to review the charges, the court was told.

The prosecution added that proceeding with the hearing as it is might be prejudicial to some of the accused persons.

“The application is made in good faith and it is not meant in any way to delay the case as the DPP is committed to have the matter heard expeditiously.”

The defence lawyers led by Alutalala Mukhwana, Stanley Kangahi, and Cohen Amanda among others, said they had no objection to the adjournment.

“We will not object to the application by the DPP to review the charges as some of our clients have lost jobs, some died and others retiring,” lawyer Amanda told the court.

They, however, prayed for an expeditious hearing of the case.

If it’s anything that will cause a reprieve to my client then I have no objection, Kangahi added.

The prosecution says 25 witnesses are yet to testify.

While granting the application the magistrate said he had considered the application and allowed the adjournment.

The case is to be mentioned on November 30, 2023, to confirm the status of the DPP to review the charges.

In the case, Kakamega Deputy Governor Ayub Savula is charged alongside former ICT PS Sammy Itemere for stealing Sh122 million that was meant for paying pending bills to advertisers.

Last month, a former Government Advertising Agency employee told the court that there was a lot of pressure from the media to pay pending bills while the agency had insufficient funding.

Patrick Ngichuru who was then Chief Finance Officer in the Ministry of ICT, on Wednesday, confirmed that payments done by GAA followed due process and every incurred expense was above board.

Gichuru told Milimani Chief Magistrate Lucas Onyina that GAA incurred expenses because of low funding but the pending bills were solved when the treasury added the agency the Sh700m.

“The problem with GAA having pending bills was that the Treasury had not disbursed funds to the agency. Pressure from the media outlets led to the arrest of the accused persons and no money was stolen,” the court heard.

He added that there was inadequate allocation of funds to GAA for the previous years from 2015 to the 2018 financial year leading to a backlog of the bills.

In his testimony, the witness told the court that the total financial budget allocation for GAA from the year 2015-16 was Sh408,047,53, financial 2016-17 was Sh492,895,796, 2017-18 was Sh492,893 and for the financial year 2018-19 was Sh1,385,350,000.

He stated that he succeeded Sephano Ombachi who was transferred to the Ministry of Health.

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