Court to determine legality of bank statements in Kidero case - Beaking Kenya News

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Friday, 6 November 2020

Court to determine legality of bank statements in Kidero case


The High Court will December 17 rule on whether to expunge the testimony of a Co-operative Bank witness in the Sh213 million graft case facing former Nairobi Governor Evans Kidero. 

Justice James Wakiaga is set to deliver the ruling after parties in the case made their final submissions on Wednesday.

Kidero argued that the testimony of one Charity Williams was based on some bank statements that trial magistrate Douglas Ogoti barred the prosecution from using.

Kidero said the document was obtained illegally. The bank statement details various transactions carried out in bank account by Ngurumani Traders Limited and Lodwar Wholesalers Limited, which are also accused in the case.

On September 16, 2019, magistrate Ogoti barred the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) from referring to the bank statements in further proceedings of the case. He, however, declined to expunge Williams’ testimony. He said no sufficient reason was given to warrant such an action.

The DPP being dissatisfied with the ruling filed a review. On the other hand, Kidero was dissatisfied with the ruling to the extent of the trial court's failure to expunge the bank documents together with Williams' testimony.

Williams' testimony was based on the said bank statement. But the DPP said Kidero had neither established nor proved any prejudice he had suffered from the testimony apart from making general and baseless allegations of prejudice.

Prosecution counsel Victor Juma said Kidero had the opportunity to cross-examine Williams, adding that challenging the inclusion of the witness’ testimony was an afterthought. He also said the disputed bank statement was obtained legally contrary to Kidero's claim.

“We can receive evidence from any source, not just the EACC, before determining who to charge and with what offence, including corruption matters,” the DPP said.

Also charged in the case are former county secretary Lilian Ndegwa, former chief finance officer Jimmy Kiamba, former Finance and Planning executive Gregory Mwakanongo, former acting chief finance officer Luke Mugo and former acting head of county treasury Maurice Okere.

They denied the charges of corruption and economic crime, including conspiracy to commit an offence of corruption, abuse of office, fraudulent acquisition of public property, dealing with suspect property, and unlawful failure to pay tax to a public body.

The allegedly conspired to commit fraud which led to the loss of Sh213,327,300 at City Hall between January 16, 2014, and January 25, 2016.  

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