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Team finishes Ondieki probe

The ad hoc Assembly committee probing allegations of misconduct against Roads and Transport Executive Member Evans Ondieki finished its sittings yesterday even as legal questions marred the process.

Mr Ondieki’s defence team of eight lawyers engaged the committee chaired by Nyayo Highrise MCA Maurice Akuk in a legal grandstanding that almost stalled the sittings on Wednesday.

Mr Ondieki’s team kicked off the legal contest after it tore into the media evidence presented by the Ngara MCA Chege Mwaura who moved the removal motion against him. They said it was not admissible.

Led by lawyers Omwanza Ombati, Benjamin Musyoka and Nicholas Kamwendwa, they challenged the probity of media reports that quoted Mr Ondieki as having accused MCA of being bribed to stall the city’s public transport reform initiative

“We need primary evidence. Secondary evidence such as newspaper articles have no evidential value,” said lawyer M.K Mwangi.

Protestations

Mr Mwaura fought to have newspaper cuttings admitted as evidence with committee members down-playing protestations from Mr Ondieki.

The composition of the committee was also queried after it became apparent that some of the members, including the chairman, had on the floor of the assembly declared that Mr Ondieki must go.

The probe team heard that Mr Ondieki termed MCAs as hooligans when he attended the sectoral committee meeting on Roads and Transport on April 22, an issue that sparked an exchange between the defence and Nairobi West MCA  Otieno Gali, a witness.

The chairperson of the sectoral committee Diana Kapeen (South C) said Mr Ondieki had failed to appear before her team without explanations.

However, the defence team challenged her to prove that the Clerk of the Assembly had indeed passed the invitation to Mr Ondieki, as required by the Standing Orders. Mr Gali told the committee how he stormed out of the sitting after Mr Ondieki used abusive language against MCAs.

The two sides also  argued over whether the committee’s report would be of any consequence especially after the Assembly had made a resolution to have Mr Ondieki dismissed.

“We are offering a fair hearing to Mr Ondieki,” said Mr Akuk.