Embattled Muthomi finally free after raising Sh6m bail

Friday, September 11th, 2020 00:00 |

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Embattled Tharaka Nithi Governor Muthomi Njuki was yesterday finally released from police custody, after depositing Sh6 million in a graft case against him and 20 others.

His relief came after spending three nights in custody following his arrest and arraignment, over Sh34.9 million fraud case involving  procurement of an incinerator. 

He was released from Integrity Centre  on Thursday afternoon after the court gave him 18 hours to process the cash bail, failure of which he was to be transferred to Industrial Area Prison.    

Family relations

Muthomi is expected not to set foot at the county offices, now categorised as a scene of crime, pending the hearing and determination of the case.

While granting Muthomi and his co-accused bail on Wednesday, anti-corruption court Chief Magistrate Douglas Ogoti, barred the suspects from also contacting the witnesses in the case.

The magistrate said that corruption kills the economy, noting that there are family relations among Muthomi and his co-accused persons.

“Corruption is entrenched in the family, personal relations, personal companies and companies belonging to cronies of close relatives.

This makes corruption to rank high among the greatest obstacles to social and economic development in the country,” said Ogoti.

Further, he added that detection of crime is difficult as it happens in the darkness and is often perpetuated by high ranking public officials who abuse their trust.   

“Corruption is in the mind of the accused and the other unique aspect of corruption is that, it must be planned and executed by the public officers abusing their trust.

Once it is discovered, one can never hide corruption, as it involves a trail of documents both in manual and electronic records,” said the magistrate.   

He however noted that  efforts must be made by all institutions including the Judiciary,  to firmly deal with graft cases from inception to final determination.

His remarks come after a number of  county bosses and public servants have bee charged alongside their family members or relatives in connection to loss of public funds.

Fraudulent involvement

They include Migori Governor Okoth Obado and Former Kiambu Governor Ferdinad Waititu. 

Muthomi  was charged on Tuesday after the Director of Public Prosecutions Noordin Haji approved the Ethics and Anti Corruption Commission’s request, to charge him over his alleged fraudulent involvement in the award of the solid waste project tender.

Haji noted that the project was procured, implemented and commissioned without an Environmental Impact Assessment and before the National Environment Management Authority  issued a license.

Muthomi and co-accused allegedly conspired to commit the offence on diverse dates between January 1 and October 31.2018 at Tharaka Nithi County offices.

Others charged are Fridah Muthoni Murungi (chief officer Environment and Natural Resources), Floridah Kiende Nyigwah (acting director procurement) and Murithi Njue (finance officer). 

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