NAIROBI, Kenya, Jun 10 – An attempt by defence lawyers in former Governor Evans Kidero’s graft case to have the second prosecution witness stood down has been rejected by the trial court.
Senior counsel James Orengo sought to have Edward Gichsanga barred from giving his evidence-in-chief on grounds that the questions he was answering are not contained in his statements.
Orengo argued giving his evidence will make it difficult for the defence to cross-examine the witness as the evidence he is giving is not in statements supplied to them by the prosecution.
Assistant DPP Joseph Riungu told trial Magistrate Douglas Ogot that the defence team will have their time to cross-examine the witness.
The court agreed with the prosecution and directed the matter to proceed.
Kidero has been charged together with former chief officers in his administration over the alleged loss of Sh213 million. They have denied a total of 35 counts.
Riungu has indicated to the court that the prosecution will table evidence to demonstrate that the accused persons led to the loss of the amount.
A former Nairobi chief officer in charge of Health Dr Robert Ayisi last week tabled in court a total of 21 payment vouchers to two traders – Lodwar Wholesalers Ltd and Ngurumani Traders Ltd. He told the court that he received a letter from the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission (EACC) while still serving at the county.
Dr Ayisi said Abdi A. Mohamed from EACC during investigations sought among other documents, bank transfers made to the two traders. The transfers were made between March 21, 2014 and December 2016. In relation to Nguramani, he said there were 18 folios with transfers totalling Sh9,490,000.
Kidero and eight others have denied charges of corruption and economic crime including conspiracy to commit an offence of corruption, abuse of office, fraudulent acquisition of public property, dealing with suspect property, and unlawful failure to pay tax to a public body.
Others facing charges are former County Secretary Lilian Ndegwa, former Chief Finance Officer Jimmy Mutuku Kiamba, former Minister in charge of Finance and Planning Gregory Mwakanongo, former Accounting Head Stephen Ogago Osiro, former acting Chief Finance officer Luke Mugo and former acting Head of Treasury Maurice Ochieng Okere.
The traders are John Githua and Grace Njeri of Lodwar Wholesalers Ltd and Ngurumani Traders Ltd, respectively.
The charges against them state that they conspired to commit fraud which led to the loss of Sh213,327,300 at the County Government between January 16, 2014 and January 25, 2016.They allegedly conspired to commit corruption by authorising payment to various companies, for services not rendered.
Kidero is alleged to have received a total of Sh24 million from Lodwar wholesalers ltd. The charges state that allegedly received Sh14 million from Lodwar Wholesalers on August 24, 2014 and another Sh10 million from the same company on September 11, 2014.