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HomeGeneral NewsCourtroom declines Obado’s request for contemporary trial in his Ksh505M graft case

Courtroom declines Obado’s request for contemporary trial in his Ksh505M graft case

Former Migori Governor Okoth Obado, his 4 youngsters and alleged proxies on Monday, February 20, suffered a serious blow after the Anti-corruption court docket declined their request for a contemporary trial in a Ksh505 million graft case.

The idea of their request was the promotion of earlier Justice of the Peace Lawrence Mugambi to a choose of the Excessive Courtroom final 12 months.

Following the promotion of Mugambi, the case was allotted to a brand new Justice of the Peace Victor Wakumile at Milimani Regulation Courts in Nairobi.

Showing earlier than Wakumile, Obado and his co-accused individuals urged the court docket to permit the case to start out afresh on grounds that the Justice of the Peace wanted to do his personal evaluation of the proof and have the chance to see the manner of prosecution witnesses.

“Part 200 of the Felony Process Code (CPC) provides the accused individuals the fitting to elect find out how to proceed earlier than a brand new judicial officer. Both to proceed from the place the listening to had reached or begin de novo (afresh). On this case, the accused have elected afresh listening to,” Defence lawyer Peter Ario advised the court docket.

“The incoming judicial officer doesn’t simply take proof from witnesses but additionally appears to be like on the manner of the witness. No prejudice might be suffered if this trial begins afresh,” he said.

However In a quick ruling, Wakumile rejected the bid by Obado and his co-accused individuals to have the case begin de novo saying they may endure no prejudice as the primary witness within the case has not concluded his proof in chief.

“To me beginning once more this case might be an affront of the judicial proceedings, I, due to this fact, order the case to proceed from the place it had stopped and proceedings within the matter must be typed to allow the court docket to familiarise itself on the earlier proceedings,” Justice of the Peace Wakumile said.

He stated the provisions of Part 200 of the CPC weren’t necessary and that contemplating the matter had taken lengthy in court docket, beginning afresh would quantity to delaying justice.

“Events agree that provisions of part 200 of the Felony Process Code (CPC) aren’t coined in necessary phrases. It has taken two years to listen to a part of the testimony,” Justice of the Peace Wakhumile stated.

“If we begin de novo (afresh), it’ll take a very long time and infringe Article 159(b) of the Structure, which gives that justice is not going to be delayed. Beginning afresh might be an affront to Article 159(h),” he dominated.

Obado case at preliminary stage

The Justice of the Peace noticed that the case was nonetheless on the preliminary phases of the listening to for the reason that first prosecution witness was but to conclude his proof.

“As for manner, the witness is just not but achieved and can nonetheless come to court docket. Additionally, chances are high that if we begin afresh, it’ll infringe on the structure beneath Article 159,” the Justice of the Peace stated.

The part of the legislation says that justice shall not be delayed. The case might be talked about nearly on April 25 when listening to dates shall be set.

The household was first charged in 2018 and the state has lined up 59 witnesses to testify.

The court docket heard that since January 2020, the primary prosecution witness continues to be on the stand.

The primary prosecution witness Robert Rono is the investigating officer within the case. His testimony has taken two years since January 2020 however continues to be midway.

However prosecutor Eva Kanyuira opposed the applying to have the matter begin afresh, saying it was within the curiosity of justice that the case is concluded within the shortest time potential.

She stated the trial was transferring at a gradual tempo due to language hitches and bulk paperwork within the custody of the investigating officer.

She stated that one of many accused, Peninah Auma, doesn’t perceive English or Kiswahili and the court docket proceedings should be interpreted to her in Luo language.

“There are minimal paperwork which might be but to be delivered to the court docket’s consideration. The Bulkiness of those paperwork is without doubt one of the causes the Director of Public Prosecutions is urging the court docket to proceed with the matter from the place it had reached. You additionally famous that we’ve to ask an interpreter in these proceedings, which is without doubt one of the causes the testimony of the primary witness has taken so lengthy. On account of that technicality, we urge the court docket to think about having this matter proceed,” Kanyuira knowledgeable the court docket

The prosecution dismissed the premise of gauging the witness’s manner saying the prosecution was nonetheless on the primary witness whose testimony was midway and that the court docket will nonetheless get a possibility to see and observe the stated witness.

“Your honour additionally, you will word from the proceedings the bulkiness of the paperwork concerned is one more reason we wish this matter to proceed from the place it had reached,” the prosecutor stated.

Within the case, Obado is charged alongside his 4 youngsters Dan Okoth, Scarlet Okoth, Jerry Okoth, Evelyne Okoth, his alleged shut affiliate Jared Kwaga, Joram Opala, Patroba Ochanda over defrauding the Migori county authorities at a complete of Ksh505.6 million.

Others are Christine Ochola, Peninah Auma, Carolyne Anyango, Tarchdog Printers Ltd, Kajulu Enterprise Ltd and Dolphus Softwares Ltd

The county boss and his co-accused face 26 fees starting from conspiracy to commit financial crimes, battle of curiosity, illegal acquisition of public property and cash laundering.

The prosecution claims that the accused individuals allegedly used six corporations to obtain a total of Ksh505.6 million through corruption.

Based on the prosecution, Obado and his co-accused engaged in a posh scheme of cash laundering the place the businesses had been awarded contracts and bought funds price hundreds of thousands of shillings that had been wired again to the governor via his youngsters who had been learning overseas.

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