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Tom Ojienda denies filing fake Mumias Sugar cases

Following his arrest on Friday evening reportedly over Mumias Sugar Company investigations, lawyer Tom Ojienda now says he reads malice and bad faith in the prosecution’s planned charges against him.

In a statement posted in one of his WhatsApp campaign groups for re-election in the powerful and influential Judicial Service Commission (JSC) as the lawyers’ representative, Mr Ojienda denied having ever conspired to defraud the sugar company through fake cases.

“I have read the Director of Public Prosecution’s statement with utter shock and disbelief. I would like to state without any fear of contradiction that I do not, I cannot and I have never filed a fake case. I have never conspired with any person to be paid for work not done,” Mr Ojienda said in statement posted early Saturday morning.

PITCHED TENT

Mr Ojienda was arrested alongside another lawyer Peter Wanyama and are being held at the Muthaiga Police Station in Nairobi where some of the senior counsel’s followers pitched tent as they condemned his incarceration while seeking to free him on bond.

“I will present all the cases that I have handled for Mumias Sugar Company to the DCI [Directorate of Criminal Investigations] for them to pick out their alleged fake matters,” said Mr Ojienda.

During the investigations into the affairs of the financially struggling sugar company, Mr Ojienda said, prosecutors did not seek any statement from him but his records are intact.

Earlier this month, one of Mr Ojienda’s lawyers Mr Nelson Havi, told the Nation that there is a scheme taking shape to lock out people perceived to be hostile to the government from taking up seats at the JSC, especially with several top judges set for retirement.

Mr Havi, who has been representing Mr Ojienda in his battles with the Kenya Revenue Authority over tax clearance issues, alleged that the group behind the plot wants to “have control on how and who the JSC appoints as Chief Justice after Maraga retires.”

TAX COMPLIANCE

Mr Ojienda risked being locked out of the JSC race after KRA refused to grant him a tax compliance certificate and instead demanded Sh443.6 million arrears consequently forcing him to seek the intervention of the High Court.

Immediately after the High Court granted his request to be issued with the tax certificate to participate in the JSC elections, KRA appealed against the court order.

KRA said that the High Court judge Wilfrida Okwany erred in issuing the order, arguing that the directive will make the lawyer tax-compliant despite a row over his tax arrears.