If a history book was to be written about happenings that took place in Kenya in the year 2018, nearly an entire chapter would be on Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) Noordin Haji.
In March when Haji took office, little was known about him, except that he was the son of Garissa Senator Yusuf Haji.
However, the former NIS Deputy Director has shaped Kenya’s criminal justice system with high profile cases that will be interesting to watch how they proceed in 2019.
Here are six instances Haji surprised Kenyans with high-profile cases:
1. NYS Season 2
Barely two months after taking office, Haji ordered the arrest of a total of 54 suspects who were suspected to have been involved in the theft of Sh9 billion from the National Youth Service (NYS).
The list of suspects included Permanent Secretary Lilian Omollo, NYS Director General Richard Ndubai, among others.
While PSs and directors had been arrested before, NYS 2 was unique as suspects spent at least two weeks in state custody after the DPP successfully succeeded to convince the court to deny the culprits bail.
2. Family Bank officials
In July, Haji announced that he would proceed to fully prosecute Family bank managers who were involved in the initial NYS loot where the famous Josephine Kabura withdrew money in bags.
The case was initially filed and prosecuted during Keriako Tobiko's reign at the office of the Director of Public Prosecutions.
The DPP had initially entered into talks with some of the suspects to have an out-of-court settlement, an arrangement that Haji overruled.
3. Kenya Power Officials
In July, Haji ordered the arrest of a total of 14 senior officials at the Kenya Power Company after they were suspected of stealing billions of shillings through purchase of faulty transformers.
p, the DPP ordered for the arrest of current and former senior managers over procurement of defective transformers and the irregularities in prequalifying 525 companies for labour and transport contracts.
Those arrested included managing director Ken Tarus, Corporate Affairs and Company Secretary Beatrice Meso, General Manager Regional Co-ordination Peter Mwichigi, as well as Peter Mungai Kinuthia, the General Manager, Business Strategy.
Others were general managers Joshua Mutua, Samuel Ndirangu, Abubakar Swaleh, Stanley Mutwiri and Benson Muriithi.
Former managing director Dr Ben Chumo was also arrested and eventually lost his bid to become Chairman of the Salaries and Remuneration Commission where President Uhuru Kenyatta had appointed him.
4. Jacque Maribe/Jowie Case
Television journalist Jacque Maribe, known for her high-profile networks in State House, has also had an unpleasant encounter with the no-nosense Haji.
Maribe and her fiancé Joseph “Jowie” Irungu were arrested, arraigned court and spent weeks in jail after they were suspected to have jointly murdered businesswoman Monica Kimani.
Maribe spent a total of 31 days in jail while Jowie will be crossing the year at Kamiti Maximum Prison.
5. Governor Okoth Obado
The Migori Governor spent a total of 34 days in jail after the DPP presented him as one of the suspects who murdered his lover – Sharon Otieno.
Haji would later order Obado’s arrest over illegal possession, a case that saw him spend another two days in police cells.
6. Philomena Mwilu
Perhaps the most historic case Haji has taken is one against Deputy Chief Justice Philomena Mwilu.
On August 28, the DPP ordered the arrest and prosecution of Mwilu on corruption-related charges.
Although the DCJ neither took plea nor spent a night in jail, it was the first time in Kenyan history that a high-ranking member of the judiciary had faced such charges.
It will be interesting to see how the case puns out in the coming year.