The hearing of Garissa Governor Ali Korane’s Kshs.23.5million corruption case could not proceed following the transfer of the trial judge. The Governor is facing allegations of misappropriation of public funds amounting to Kshs. 233,506,000, with four other County officials.
The case, whose trial began two weeks ago, had come up for hearing, however, it had to be adjourned as the trial magistrate Douglas Ogoti was not available. The parties were directed to appear before Ogoti on August 24th for directions, on whether he will continue with the hearing or if a new trial magistrate will take it over.
Chief Magistrate Ogoti, who is hearing the case is on transfer to Embu. The magistrate had only taken evidence form one of the witnesses at the time of his transfer.
The Garissa Governor was charged with Corruption on Septemebr10th September 2020 together with four county officials; County Finance Chief Officer Ibrahim Nur Malow, Head of Treasury, Mohammed Ahmed Abdullahi, Municipality Executive Abdi Shale and the Municipal Head of Accounts, Ahmed Abdullahi.
The Governor who was arrested by the anti-graft body, Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission (EACC) is out on bail. Governor Korane was freed on a Kshs. 3.25 million cash bail while the other four co accused were released on a one million shillings cash bail each. They were however bared from setting foot in their offices until the case is heard and determined.
The offences include conspiracy to commit an offence of economic crime, misappropriation of public funds and willful failure to comply with the law relating to management of public funds. The offences touch on misappropriation of Kshs.233million for a World Bank funded project, offences which occurred between February 25 and September 30, 2019. They denied the charges.
Corruption cases taking years in courts has been one of the major detriments to the fight against corruption and the speedy decisions on transitions of trial magistrates is of utmost importance.