MP gets bond extension in Sh290m maize fraud case

Thursday, June 18th, 2020 00:00 |
Sirisia MP John Walukhe is sworn before being cross-examined while on his defence during a court appearance in November last year in a fraud case. Photo/PD/CHARLES MATHAI

Alphonce Mung’ahu

A magistrate’s court in Nairobi yesterday  extended bond terms for Sirisia MP John Waluke but issued an arrest warrant for his co-accused in the Sh297 million maize fraud case facing them.

Trial magistrate Elizabeth Osoro issued the arrest warrant after Grace Sarapay Wakhungu failed to turn up for the judgment, scheduled  for yesterday. 

At the same time the magistrate allowed the investigating officer in the case to verify a medical document presented before court by Wakhungu’s lawyer after a State prosecutor disputed its authenticity. 

Deferred judgement

However,  the magistrate deferred the judgment to June 22 and ordered that the accused stay in custody until that time after her arrest.

While issuing the arrest order, the magistrate said  Wakhungu was not present in court on May 27, when the judgment was supposed to be read and also failed yesterday without proper explanation.

The lawmaker Waluke is jointly charged alongside Wakhungu and Erad Suppliers Ltd. 

But they have since denied charges relating to Sh297 million fraud involving a contract between Chelsea Freight and the National Cereals and Produce Board (NCPB).

Wakhungu and Waluke are facing charges that on February 24, 2009 the two being directors of the company, they presented a false invoice of $1,146,000 (Sh115,072,725)  as evidence in the arbitration dispute between the company and NCPB.  

During the last defence hearing Waluke urged the court to acquit him for lack of evidence.

Through their lawyers, led by Nelson Havi, the accused  urged the trial magistrate to acquit them, saying prosecution has failed to prove beyond reasonable double, the allegation that they committed the offences.

“The prosecution evidence is insufficient to prove the ingredients of the offences,” said Havi.

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