Off the hook? Rigathi Gachagua was to appear in court today in Sh7.4b graft case
Just a day after the Supreme Court of Kenya upheld the election victory of President-elect William Ruto and his deputy Rigathi Gachagua, it has emerged that the latter was scheduled to appear in court on Tuesday to answer to corruption cases.
In details contained in court schedules and cases lined up for today, Mr Rigathi Gachagua was to appear before Hon. V.N. Wakumile alongside nine of his co-accused.
The case had initially been scheduled to take place on September 5, 2022, but did not take place after it was postponed owing to the petition lodged at the Supreme Court by Azimio la Umoja presidential candidate Raila Odinga who was challenging the election results.
Milimani Law Courts remained closed since August 26, 2022, in order to allow the Supreme Court to deal with the presidential petition. Since the court upheld Mr Ruto’s win, the Director of Public Prosecution will be in a dilemma on whether or not to go on with the case.
This is because as per the constitution it is only the President of Kenya who has immunity on criminal cases and cannot be arraigned in court. However, the law is not clear whether the Deputy President enjoys similar immunity as the Head of State.
“Criminal proceedings shall not be instituted or continued in any court against the President or a person performing the functions of that office, during their tenure of office,” Article 143 (1) of the constitution states.
The Deputy President-elect has already denied six counts of corruption related charges which include; conspiracy to commit an offence of corruption, fraudulent acquisition of public property, conflict of interest, money laundering and acquisition of proceeds of crime.
He is accused of fraudulently acquiring Sh7.4 billion proceeds of crime between 2013 and 2020 through business deals with the government.
Those charged alongside Mr Gachagua are former Mathira CDF manager William Mwangi Wahome, Ann Nduta Ruo, Jullianne Jahenda Makaa and Samuel Murimi Ireri, Grace Wambui Kariuki, Lawrence Kimaru, Irene Wambui Ndigiriri, David Reuben Nyangi Nguru and Rapid Medical Supplies Ltd.