Korane out on Sh3.25m bail, barred from accessing office
Garissa Governor Ali Korane will earn his freedom if he pays Sh3.25 million cash bail after he was charged in a Sh233 million corruption case yesterday.
In granting bail, Anti-Corruption Chief Magistrate Douglas Ogoti ruled that the first-time gubernatorial chief could give a Sh5 million bond to enable him be released from custody.
Korane was also barred from accessing the Garissa county government offices. He was also ordered to deposit his passport with the court.
In his bail ruling, the magistrate said that he had considered the nature of the offences and the sentences to be meted out in the event of a conviction against the accused.
“I have considered the facts in the charges, the genuine transfer of monies within Garissa County government and mismanagement of the same.
Whether this happened is a matter of evidence that can only wait for the trial. I also consider there was no loss of money, personal gain or benefit either to accused or to their beneficiaries.
I have also considered the roles played by each accused in the alleged misappropriation of funds and the positions held by the accused person in Garissa County and the authorities placed before me,” ruled Ogoti.
Korane and his co-accused were also barred from making any attempts to approach or interfere with any witnesses in any form as this would lead to automatic cancellation of bond terms.
The Assistant Alexander Muteti did not oppose Korane’s application to be released on bond but asked the court to bar the governor and the other accused from accessing their offices pending the hearing of the case.
Muteti says being barred from office does not amount to removal from office but it’s just the governor being denied access which has been declared a crime scene.
“An order barring the accused from office does not amount to his removal in any case there will be no vacuum as the situation is cared for by Article 179(5) of the constitution,” said Muteti.
But Korane’s lawyer Ahmednasir Abdullahi asked the court to grant him reasonable bail.
He argued that the prosecution cannot give conditions to the release of the accused saying the court should consider the presumption of innocence of the accused persons. Ahmednasir said that the offences against Korane have no basis in law.
“There is no crime in this charge sheet. There is no charge that says the money was lost or stolen. We will show in the trial that there is no offence as claimed by the prosecution,” he said.
Ahmednasir urged the court to consider the seriousness of the offence and find that there was no benefit bestowed either by the accused themselves or other accused beneficiaries.
The Gover and his co-accused denied graft charges relating to misappropriation of Sh233 million for a World Bank-funded project.
Korane was charged alongside finance chief officer Ibrahim Nur Malow, head of Treasury Mohammed Ahmed Abdullahi, Municipality County Executive Officer Abdi Shale and the Municipal head of accounting Ahmed Abdullahi. They denied the 14 charges.