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Petition Seeks To Remove DPP Renson Ingonga From Office After Declaring Support For Sakaja As A Fellow Luhya Amidst Corruption Claims

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The Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP), Renson Ingonga, finds himself in the middle of a muddy surface following sentiments that he made in the past few weeks during a function at Nairobi Governor Sakaja’s home.

Linda Jamii, a lobby group based in Nairobi, has filed a petition with parliament seeking to have the DPP investigated, found unfit to hold public office, and consequentially removed from office for allegedly violating his office and declaring support for embattled Nairobi Governor Jackson Sakaja.

“We have filed a petition with the National Assembly regarding the conduct of the DPP that has appeared in public to have defended the governor of Nairobi, who is allegedly accused of so many corruption cases, saying that because they’re fellow Luhyas, he cannot be prosecuted,” Prof. Fredrick Ogolla, the group’s leader, said in a statement to the press.

Prof. Ogolla gave an account of his allegations, saying the director’s remarks were incited by alleged tribalism “during a thanksgiving of the governor’s mother, which was attended by several dignitaries with him also attending, and he spoke. We found out that the director Ingonga declared support for his alleged corrupt friend (Sakaja), whom he claims to share the same community (Luhya),”

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During the event, Makadara MP George Aladwa assured Nairobi Governor Sakaja of his full support, adding that ODM as a party is fully behind him with full instructions from Raila. He went further to affirm the support of Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) Renson Ingonga as a fellow tribesman.

“Wacheni mchezo Waluhya tuheshimiwe, Huyu ndiye governor (Sakaja) aliyechaguliwa, tuko na DPP Mluhya yuko pale cheza na sisi uone. Na mtu asifikirie utakuja kufanya maandamano Nairobi kutoa Sakaja, ukija na sisi pia tutapanga maandamano (Luhyas must be respected; don’t joke with us; Sakaja is the duly elected governor, and we will defend him as a fellow Luhya; we have the DPP on our side; don’t think of demonstrating against the governor in Nairobi; we shall retaliate);” the MP said.

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Prof. Ogolla flagged Aladwa’s sentiments as detrimental to the DPP’s office: “The officer (Aladwa) seems to have tribalized the office of the DPP, therefore stripping the honourable office of impartiality, hence affecting what is called judicial independence.”

When the DPP stood to give his address, he affirmed his support and administration for the family: “I celebrate the Sakaja family for nurturing and giving us the most senior governor of the biggest city in Kenya.”

In political rhetoric, the DPP went further to warn those criticising Sakaja’s leadership, telling them to give him time to deliver: “Let’s respect our leaders (with respect to Sakaja); each of them has their own unique leadership style and time to rule; let’s not rush to judge him; let’s give him time to deliver. We should not expect Sakaja to govern in the same way as others; give him time,” the DPP said in a video seen by Kenya Insights.

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Concerns

Prof. Ogolla, in the petition obtained by Kenya Insights, goes further to accuse the DPP of abusing the stature of his office. He raises key issues about the DPP for defending an alleged corrupt friend, Governor Sakaja, at a public function organised by the governor, including whether the DPP, by virtue of his office, should be attending functions, especially on matters touching on areas of his service.

He further queries the DPP’s suitability for the office, having attended Sakaja’s function and the sentiments expressed: “Upon making such pronouncements, would the DPP still be fit to hold that office or continue to serve in that key, important office where nothing short of impartiality is expected?”

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Prof. Ogolla goes on to ask whether Kenyans would be confident in getting justice from the DPP’s office given the tribal sentiments made: “Would any Kenyan listening to the cited pronouncements feel they have access to justice either when they don’t come from the DPP’s community, know him, or are friends with him? Or, worse yet, would any Kenyan expect that his case be presented before the DPP, especially when it is defending someone from the DPP’s community?” He posed.

Reputation

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Prof. Ogola has questioned the DPP’s impartiality in discharging his duties, pointing out a number of cases that he says have dented his reputation.

“The fact that there have been many cases that are produced in court and mention a lack of evidence, warrant, or prosecution regarding corruption or other criminal activities of powerful individuals. Kenyans will be suspicious that these constitution offices could be there to clear corrupt and powerful individuals but only put weak and poor evidence given those pronouncements.”

“I’m very sure that the DPP, if there’s any case that touches his community from his standpoint, will simply clear them out.” Prof. Ogolla said.

Probe

The lobby group now wants the parliament to treat the matter urgently and move with speed to investigate Ingonga, arguing that there’s a likelihood that Kenyans won’t be getting deserved justice from the DPP’s office given the questioned impartiality.

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“The honourable house immediately commences a serious investigation on this individual and ensures that in all corruption cases that are presented before him, he’s able to address them with impartiality.” The petition reads:.

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No trust in the courts

Prof. Ogolla now claims that because of impartiality in the judicial system, Kenyans are now shying away from seeking justice in courts and is blaming the DPP.

“By DPP speaking those things in public, attended by dignitaries and officials that are friends of Sakaja, who also have the same measure of alleged corruption, it simply means there’s no impartiality in that office, and I’m speaking on behalf of Kenyans who have lost trust, and that’s why we’re seeing no one going to court.”

“If we cannot have justice at the ODPP, it means there can be no prosecution ongoing.” The professor said.

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