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HENRY KOSGEI STEPS A SIDE OVER ABUSE OF OFFICE

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Denzel Musumba

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Mr Henry Kosgey faces a cumulative total of 120 years in jail if he is convicted on 12 charges of abuse of office filed in a Nairobi court on Tuesday. Each of the 12 charges carries a maximum penalty of 10 years imprisonment. The veteran politician was arraigned in court just hours after announcing that he was stepping aside as minister for Industrialisation following Attorney-General Amos Wako’s authorisation that the Kenya Anti-Corruption Commission could arrest and charge him for illegally allowing the importation of an over-age vehicle. Mr Kosgey, the MP for Tinderet and chairman of Prime Minister Raila Odinga’s ODM party, announced on Tuesday morning that he was quitting office, and immediately drove to the KACC offices where he spent nearly six hours and had his fingerprints taken. He was then taken to the anti-corruption court in a KACC vehicle. He is a key ally of the Prime Minister in Rift Valley politics and is also one of the six suspects under investigation by the International Criminal Court as key plotters of the post-election violence. Mr Odinga announced that he accepted Mr Kosgey’s move in consultation with President Kibaki. Before principal magistrate Elijah Obaga, Mr Kosgey denied 12 counts of abuse of office contrary to section 46 of the Anti-Corruption and Economic Crimes Act. He was supported by a contingent of ODM ministers and MPs who thronged the KACC Integrity Centre offices and the courtroom in a show of solidarity.

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