Former Governor Kidero granted bail by court

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Former Nairobi Governor Evans Kidero and Maurice Okere in court
Former Nairobi Governor Evans Kidero and Maurice Okere in court

Former Nairobi Governor Evans Kidero and co-accused Maurice Okere have been granted bail by the anti-corruption court. Kidero, along with other former County officers including former Nairobi County secretary Lilian Wanjiru Ndegwa were charged with conspiring to commit an offence of corruption, namely fraud on diverse dates between 16 January 2014 and 25 January 2016 leading to the loss of public funds in the sum of Kshs 213,327,300 for services not rendered among other counts.

The former Nairobi Governor was arrested by EACC officers on Wednesday evening and placed under custody. Along with Maurice Okere, Kidero denied the charges on Thursday. It was noted that on separate occasions, Kidero allegedly received a benefit of Kshs 14,000,000 and Kshs 10,000,000 from Lodwar wholesalers limited with the money having been acquired in corrupt conduct.

The two were released on Kshs 2 million cash bail, a personal bond of Kshs 5 million and a bond of Kshs 3 million with a surety of the same amount. While giving his ruling, chief magistrate Douglas Ogoti ordered the two to surrender their passports to the court and to keep off access to the witnesses.

The prosecution had argued that the two shouldn’t be granted bail, given the severity of economic crimes, and had outlined that a possible interference of witnesses shouldn’t be ignored. The prosecution argued that given the clout and influence of the former Nairobi Governor, he could access and influence the witnesses.

The accused’s legal team led by Prof. Tom Ojienda had argued that the counts amounted to ‘conspiracy’ and didn’t hold any grievous weight. Prof. Ojienda further insisted that the two accused are law abiding citizens and can neither interfere with the witnesses nor do they pose any flight threat. Moreover, Ogoti ordered the suspects who didn’t present themselves to court to present themselves to EACC offices by noon on Friday or be arrested.