How Samburu County Officials Found a Not So Soft Landing Spot in Court

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Samburu County Secretary, eight Chief Officers and the head of supply chain Friday denied graft charges relating to a Sh84 million fuel-supply scandal.

The 10 county officials were accused of conspiring to commit a corruption offence namely abuse of office, which led to unlawful payment of Sh84,695,996 to Oryx Service station that belongs to Governor Moses Kasaine.

The accused are Stephen Siringa (county secretary) chief officers Daniel Nakuo, Josephine Naamo, Reuben Marumben, Linus Milton, Paul Lolmingani, Bernard Ltarasi, Lilian Balanga, Geoffrey Barun and Hesbon Wachira (head of supply chain).

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Chief Magistrate Lawrence Mugambi released the suspects on a bond of Sh15 million or a cash bail of Sh10 million.

The Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP), through prosecution counsel Alexander Muteti, wanted the court to order the suspects to declare the source of cash, which they intend to use as cash bail to avoid turning the court into a money laundering unit.

The DPP further wanted signatories for Samburu County bank accounts stopped from transacting on behalf of the county and CBK Governor ordered not to transact with any of the accused on behalf of the county.

The prosecution also wanted the surety the accused persons will use in the matter be verified by EACC before such property is accepted.

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Lawyers, however, opposed the application, saying it would amount to denying the accused bail.

Paul Nyamodi, representing the Governor and County Secretary, asked the court to dismiss the application by the DPP, saying the CBK Governor was not party to the suit.

Lawyers representing the chief officers asked the court to give a reasonable cash bail as their accounts had been suspended and they come from a marginalised county.

Magistrate Mugambi, however, gave them a cash bail similar to that of Kasaine but did not give any other orders.

He directed the parties to file any application before trial Magistrate Teresia Murugi, who will handle the matter.

The 10 accused persons are charged alongside Kasaine, who pleaded to corruption-related charges on Tuesday.

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He had been released on a bond of Sh150 million or a cash bail of Sh100 million but the High Court reduced the terms to Sh10 million cash bail or a bond of Sh15 million.

Magistrate Ogoti, who had issued the stringent bail terms, on Thursday withdrew himself from hearing the case.

Each of the county officials faces a count of abuse of office. They allegedly used their offices to benefit various amounts to the Governor, who was trading as Oryx Service Station for supply of fuel to Samburu County Government.

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