Police officer drags Ruto into Echesa arms case

Tuesday, August 31st, 2021 00:00 |
Investigating officer Maurice Amari shows Senior Principal Magistrate Kenneth Cheruiyot (with files) the inside of a Subaru Legacy belonging to Kennedy Mboya at Milimani law courts yesterday. PD/Charles Mathai

A vehicle impounded moments after leaving Harambee Annex which houses the office of the Deputy President William Ruto was yesterday produced in court as an exhibit in the Sh39 billion fake arms cache case.

The court heard that the suspects were arrested by detectives from the Serious Crimes Police Unit as they drove out of the DP’s office at Harambee Annexe en route to Ruto’s Karen residence allegedly to meet him over the deal.

Chief Inspector Maurice Amari told the court that documents relating to the fake arms tender were found inside a Subaru Legacy, registration number KBY 793N belonging to one Kennedy Mboya, who is charged alongside former Cabinet Secretary Rashid Echesa. 

“We intercepted the vehicle as it left Harambee Annex. It had three occupants who are charged in court and at the rear back seat that’s where we recovered the tender documents in question, a laptop and mobile phones,” said Amari.

The witness further informed the court that another Range Rover vehicle belonging to Echesa was also intercepted as it left Harambee Annex office. Aboard the Range Rover was Echesa and two foreigners, Kozlowski Stanley Bruno, the CEO of US based ECO Advanced Technologies firm and Egyptian Mamdough Mostafa Lofty, who are the complainants in the case.

Senior principal magistrate Kenneth Cheruiyot  was shown the vehicle at Milimani Law court parking lot before it was released to the former CS.

Mboya has also asked the court to release the Subaru Legavy to him but the court will make a ruling on the same on September 3. 

“We did a due diligence search on the motor vehicle belonging to Mboya and we found that there is no dispute, it is his,” Amari said.

The controversial tender documents dated February 13, 2020 allegedly signed at the Harambee Annex office was between the government of Kenya represented by the Ministry of Defence and ECO Advanced Technologies. 

Purported signatures of Defence Cabinet Secretary Dr. Monica Juma and a Major-General (now Lt-General) Francis Ogolla claiming to give their consent on behalf of the Ministry and DoD were forged, according to a document expert, Chief Inspector Miranda Nasikia, who also testified. 

Another witness, Nancy Ekakoro from DCI  headquarters produced  28 photos obtained from a CCTV capturing the events at Deputy President’s Harambee Annex office and Radisson Blu Hotel where the suspects were spotted together with the foreigners.

The witness, the photos are of diverse dates including February 13, 2020 at 8:53 am when Echesa and his foreign visitors arrived at the DP’s office. Nasikia informed the court that businessman Chrispin Oduor Odipo, also a suspect in the case, was found in possession of a fake stamp impression from the Ministry of Defence during his arrest.  Oduor, a director of Pzel Company Limited, is alleged to have received Sh11.5 million “kickback” on behalf of Echesa and others in the deal. 

Nasikia said he analysed several documents and made comparisons against signature specimens in several documents in relation to the contract. 

In the case Echesa, Oduor, Mboya are charged alongside Daniel Otieno Omondi alias General Juma and Clifford Okoth. 

They face six counts of making a false document and conspiracy to commit a felony. Hearing continues.

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