43 witnesses set to testify in Lenolkulal graft case
The hearing of over Sh84.7million case against Governor Moses Kasaine Lenolkulal and ten others yesterday kicked off with the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) saying it has evidence to prove the several corruption charges against them.
Assistant DPP Alex Akula said that they will be calling 43 witnesses to prove how the county lost millions of shilling through the supply of Automobile fuel by Oryx Service Station linked to the Governor and his proxy Hesbon Ndathi .
In his opening remarks the prosecution told trial magistrate Thomas Nzioka that they be major on four areas touching on abuse of office, conspiracy to defraud,conflict of interest and attempt to conceal the fraud by the Governor and businessman Ndathi.
He added that the evidence they will adduce will also show how the transaction were done through payment vouchers and other documents that are in their possession that the governor and Ndathi benefited from over Sh 85 million through Oryx Service Station over supply of fuel to the county government.
"Will be demonstrate that Governor Lenolkulal was trading with the county government through his Oryx Service Station for the supply of fuel from the period 2013 to 2019," said Akula.
Oryx Service Station which is at the centre of the transaction was incorporated February 1,2010 by the Governor and Ndathi.
The court heard that indeed there is touchable evidence linking all the 11 accused persons as they conspired to defraud the county million of money.
Akula further said that the prosecution will demonstrate that the governor had directed interest in the supply of fuel and tried to conceal the same through the help of his co-accused persons who were county executive members in the case.
"The prosecution shall demonstrate an attempt to conceal the direct interest by the governor and Ndathi over the transaction made to the petrol station," he said.
Meanwhile the first prosecution witness Joseph Mayani Lekalkuli in his evidence in chief produced several payments vouchers, invoices, Local purchase orders and others documents that were used during the transactions.
Mayani who is the county head of treasury said that he recorded a statement with EACC in March 2019 following an alleged misappropriation of the county funds inclusion with the county staffs.
He confirmed that indeed the amount in question was paid to the petrol station linked to the governor.
"The payment received by the said station was facilitated by the chief officers in contravention of the law,” said Mayani.
In the case the governor and Ndathi are charged alongside county secretary Stephen Letinina, chief finance officer Daniel Lenolkirina and former chief officer in charge of environment and natural resources Josephine Lenasalia.
Others are Chief officer in charge of agriculture Reuben Lemunyete, education’s Linus Lenolngenje, transport’s Paul Lolmingani, lands’ Bernard Lesurmat, head of supply chain management Geoffrey Kitewan and Lilian Balanga.
However the DPP Noordin Haji has since dropped charges against Lenolkulal's deputy Julius Leseeto, Andrew Lanyasuny in- charge of gender and David Loosengeof sport's ministry.
The chief county boss is out on a cash bail of Sh 10 million from the initial Sh 100 million which he successfully challenged to be reviewed.
On April 2019, Lenolkulal when he was released on bail was given a condition he should not access the Samburu County government offices in Maralal, not to interfere with prosecution witnesses and deposit his passport in court.
The charges agaisnt the eleven accused persons states that they conspired to commit the offence of corruption, which led to unlawful payment of Sh84,695,996 to Lenolkulal through a petrol station known as Oryx Service Station.
It is alleged that they committed the offences between March 27, 2013 and March 25, 2019 at Maralal town.