5 February 2013

Kenya: Court Gives Okemo, Gichuru Extradition Proceedings a Nod

A Nairobi court has directed that extradition proceedings against former Cabinet Minister Chris Okemo and ex-Kenya Power and Lightning boss Samuel Gichuru to proceed.

Okemo and Gichuru are wanted in the United Kingdom for corruption and money laundering charges that were preferred against them by the Chief Justice of the Island of Jersey where it is alleged that the two had stashed their ill-gotten money.

They wanted their extradition blocked claiming that there was no legal basis to extradite them to Jersey Island to face money laundering charges.

Okemo and Gichuru had been seeking a declaration that no fair trial can be obtained within the unusual court systems operated by the Island of Jersey.

They say the issue can only be decided in a constitutional petition in the High Court and not any other court.

Okemo and Gichuru are accused of abusing their offices by using proxy companies to squander public funds over 10 years ago, according to documents sent to the Kenyan government by the bailiff and Chief Justice of the Island of Jersey, Channel Islands, UK.

They are accused of having received bribes amounting to hundreds of millions of shillings from international companies between 1999 and 2002.

The amount received in bribes from the companies is pegged at Sh902 million and was allegedly paid through various companies.

Okemo served as Energy Minister between 1999 to 2001 before he was moved to the Finance docket where he served between 2001 and 2003.

Gichuru served as the Managing Director of KPLC between 1983 and 2003.

Their intended extradition to the UK coincided with the arrest and planned extradition to Kenya of billionaire businessman Yagnesh Devani who is wanted by authorities in Nairobi to face charges related to fraud amounting to Sh7.6 billion for fuel deliveries that were released without payment.

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