The High Court has declined a second attempt by Concelia Aoko Ondiek, a former senior official at the Ministry of Education, who wants to be released on bail. The ex-official is in prison for looting public funds.

Justice Daniel Ogembo dismissed Ondiek’s request, saying that ill-health was not a ground for grant of bail pending appeal, adding that it was neither an exceptional and unusual circumstance to warrant the grant of bail.
Ondiek applied to the court in August asking it to review or set aside a ruling delivered by Judge Mumbi Ngugi and to issue an order to release her on bail pending appeal.

The application was made on the ground that there is new information presented before the court.
The state opposed the application saying the court lacked jurisdiction over the matter. It said Ngugi already dealt with the application for bail pending appeal and dismissed the same. It also argued that the letter attached is from the prison and is not reason enough to warrant Concelia being released as the same is not from a doctor and fails to show any history of the conditions pleaded.

Judge Ogembo in his ruling said Ngugi dismissed the application for bail which was also premised on grounds of ill health. He took note of the new evidence being communicated by the officer in charge, Langata Women prison dated July 28. The letter indicated that she is suffering from hypertension, diabetes, arthritis, and has not been responsive to the treatment offered at the clinic at the institution.

But the Judge said Concelia was asking the court to revisit an issue that had been dealt with by Judge Ngugi. Justice Ogembo declined her plea but said Concelia is entitled to the right to life and good health care.
He subsequently ordered the officer in charge, Lang’ata Women Prison clinic to facilitate the referral and treatment of Concelia, if need be to Kenyatta National Hospital or any other referral hospital.

It was the second time Concelia was convicted and sentenced for stealing public funds. She had been found guilty of forgery and false accounting, about a decade ago and was sentenced to two years in jail.

The fight against corruption will be successful if all organs of government join the war, the judiciary especially being the gate keepers of the law. Denial of bail to corruption perpetrators will prevent them from looting public coffers.

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