By: David Kinyanjui and John Kiptoo
“Whenever I look at my family, my children, they represent millions of law abiding Kenyans who daily deserve to be protected from criminal elements. When I leave every morning they remind me of why l choose to serve within the justice system. If confirmed by this honorable committee as DPP they will be a constant reminder of why we must ensure that the wheels of justice roll seamlessly, efficiently and that justice is served for all.” – DPP Coordinator Haji
A man who has dedicated most of his adult life to public service Mr Haji was born on the 3rd of July 1973 in Malindi, Kilifi County. His mother was a high school teacher and her kindness and generosity to those in need even during those times she did not have much greatly impacted the young and impressionable Haji.His father was a career civil servant who served this country as an administrator starting from the lowest level and rising through the ranks in various positions with great honor, dedication and integrity.
Mr Haji knows that the collective eye of the nation is on him. It is a bit scary for him, because he likes to keep to himself. As an intelligence officer, he was your common man on the streets, but, as the DPP, he can’t hide beneath the cloak of anonymity. Even in his new office, Mr Haji prefers to keep himself out of the way of power brokers and influence peddlers. He only socialises with his family and is careful with whom he interacts to avoid accusations of not being impartial.
He admits to have learnt from his parents the values of Integrity, Hard work, Selflessness, Service to humanity and discipline, values that continue to guide him in the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions as he tackles corruption in high places. He is clearly determined to sink his fangs deeper into the Kenyan political and bureaucratic system, if that is what it will take to rid Kenya of endemic graft.
Haji says he is not satisfied with the prosecutions he has undertaken and is pulling all the stops to nail more high profile graft suspects. He says the challenges he has endured in the short span have strengthened his resolve and opened doors for clarity on what he ought to do. In an interview on the sidelines of an international justice forum held in Arusha earlier this week, Haji told a local news daily that he will bare his all in the fight and urged Kenyans to fasten their belts for the long ride against the entrenched vice.
Having been civil servants, his family constantly moved across the country. He began His formative years in school at DEB Nyahururu primary school subsequently attending from Standard 1 to 8 in different schools across the country such as Nakuru, Mombasa, Nyeri, Eldoret and Garissa to name but a few. This exposed him to the rich diversity of our Kenyan cultures allowing him to appreciate, at an early age, our interdependence as a Society.
He is an Advocate of the High Court of Kenya of 19 years standing. He began his public service as a State Counsel in the Office of the Attorney General. A foundation that he says has served him well over the years. He later joined the National Security Intelligence Service, as a legal officer, where hehelpedto set up the legal department. He served in various other capacities including as a Deputy Director in charge of Administration and Deputy Director in charge of Counter Organized Crime.
As Deputy Director his work includes advising the Director General NIS on Legal and Strategic matters on Organised Crime. He was the head of coordination of Interagency Operations on organized crime, investigating, analyzing and compiling evidence for prosecution. In this role the collaboration with the Office of the Director of Criminal Investigations, Prosecutors, the Judiciary and other investigative bodies has over the years allowed him to develop a very broad, deep, rich and diverse experience in the criminal justice system. This accorded him a vantage point through which l have seen the opportunities and challenges within the criminal justice system.
Over the past 19 years of service in a career that has spanned various sectors, his experience as a public officer in various capacities prepared him to understand the unique needs of investigators, prosecutors and law enforcement officers. His experience as a State Counsel, a Legal officer, Investigator, Analyst and Administrator responsible for efficient coordination and utilization of Human, Financial and Material resources has equipped him with Strategic and Administrative leadership needed in this role.
Most recently The Director of Public Prosecutions has ordered a review of files linking five commercial banks to a mega scam at the National Youth Service leading to Sh 8 billion loss. The five banks whose files will be reviewed in the next two weeks include Kenya Commercial Bank, Equity, Cooperative, Diamond Trust Bank and Standard Chartered Bank. “I have constituted a team of Senior Prosecutors to independently review the respective investigation files and make recommendations within 14 days,” said Noordin Haji, Director of Public Prosecutions.
Following the allegations into the NYS 2 saga, which involved over Sh8 billion, several high profile individuals and entities were charged. Further, the Director of Public Prosecution (DPP) directed investigations in respect to five commercial banks namely Standard Chartered, Kenya Commercial Bank, Equity, Diamond Trust and Cooperative Bank by the Central Bank of Kenya and the Director of Criminal Investigation with regard to violation of legislation that govern banks and provisions of the Proceeds of Crime and Anti Money Laundering Act No.9 of 209 (POCAMLA).
In response, the Central Bank of Kenya undertook targeted inspection of the five institutions, which resulted in penalties and strict supervision regime to mitigate and address the identified lapses and gaps among other measures. The Director of Criminal Investigations on the other side carried out probe with regard to criminal culpability and has forwarded the files relating to the said lenders with recommendations, that charges should be preferred against the banks, bank officials, individuals and entities for concealing and facilitating, aiding, abetting and benefiting from proceeds of crimes.
According to a statement from Noordin Haji, investigation file no 521/2018 against Standard Chartered Bank established that the bank received a total of Sh1.6 billion between January 2016 and April 2018, out of which, it was established that the amount of Sh588, 558,000 was suspiciously transacted by bank officials and no report was made to the Financial Reporting Centre (FRC) as required under POCAMLA regulations.
Kenya Commercial Bank, on the other hand, received a total of Sh 800 million, an amount of Sh 148, 397,000 was transacted by bank officials without following POCAMLA regulations. Investigations against Equity Bank revealed that the lender received a total of Sh886, 426,904, out of which, it was discovered that an amount of Sh 264, 200, 000 and $58,000 was suspiciously transacted by officials of the bank in violation of the law.
Diamond Trust Bank received Sh164 million out of which an amount of Sh27,946,298 was suspiciously transacted by officials of the bank. And investigation file number 526/2018 against Cooperative Bank established that Sh250 million was received by the lender out of which Sh25 million was suspiciously transacted. The order and appointment of the Senior Prosecutors by Haji to independently review the investigation findings comes few weeks after Chief Justice David Maraga accused the office of DPP of presenting weak cases making it hard for the judiciary to nail suspects.