Asenior officer at the Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI) has disclosed that they were forced to charge deputy president Rigathi Gachagua over the Sh7.3 billion corruption case.
It has also emerged that at the time of arresting Mr Gachagua who by then the Mathira member of Parliament and arraigning him in court on July 26, 2021, the investigations were not complete and there was no documentary evidence to support the alleged offences.
“The investigations team headed by myself was given strict and fixed timelines to come up with findings promptly which made it difficult to conduct thorough and comprehensive investigations into the allegations,” states Mr Obadiah.
The superintendent of police Kuriah Obadiah, who is based at the DCI headquarters sworn in an explosive affidavit saying that officers were pushed to arrest and charge Mr Gachagua with financial-related crimes.
Obadiah, the head of the Serious Crimes Section, was the leader of the investigations team formed to pursue the politician, who had fallen out with former President Uhuru Kenyatta’s administration.
“On April 15, 2020, the DCI received a letter from the Financial Reporting Centre making allegations of criminal conduct against the accused persons imputing embezzlement of funds from the National Irrigation Board and other entities,” Mr Obadiah narrates in the four-page affidavit in support to the withdrawal of the case.
Stating that he was immensely pressurised by the former director of the DCI, Mr George Kinoti, to make recommendations that would see Mr Gachagua in the dock, the officer added he was given strict and fixed timelines to come up with findings.
He goes on to state that “while the investigations were still in progress, Mr Kinoti directed us to make recommendations that will enable the accused persons to face charges”.
After being arraigned in court, the detectives abandoned the investigations.
They raised six allegations related to fraud, money laundering, abuse of office and conflict of interest. The trial never moved to hear witness testimony.
The case is set to come up on November 21, 2022, for directions on the withdrawal.