Kenya: Kidero to Plead Afresh in Graft Case

Former Nairobi Governor Evans Kidero in a Nairobi court on April 30, 2019 when he was charged with corruption.
5 December 2019

Former Nairobi Governor Evans Kidero and 15 other persons will plead afresh to graft charges after a magistrate declined to consolidate two files which the prosecution claimed related to the same transaction.

Chief magistrate Douglas Ogoti declined to consolidate Dr Kidero's case with that of Nyakach MP Joshua Aduma, who was previously acting director of legal affairs at at the defunct city council.

Mr Aduma has denied charges of corruptly authorising payment of Sh10 million to law firm Wachira Mburu, Mwangi & Company Advocates.

Others implicated are former chief of staff during Kidero's administration George Wainaina Njogu, former Nairobi mayor John Ndirangu Kariuki and former councillor Paul Mutunga Mutungi.

Others include Manasseh Karanja, a former acting director Internal audit at the county, Philomena Kavinya Nzuki, a principal accountant, Ng'ang'a Mungai, accountants Charity Muringo Ndiritu, Peterson Njiru, Ekaya Alumasi, James Mbugua, Elizabeth Wanjiru Nderitu and Alice Njeri Mundia.

The Director of Public Prosecutions wanted the two cases consolidated and heard together on grounds that they stemmed from the same transaction.

However, the accused persons argued that the case should not be consolidated. Dr Kidero argued that he was not serving as Governor in 2011 when the alleged money was wired to the law firm.

In his ruling, Mr Ogoti said that after going through the charge sheets it was evident that there were two transactions with the common denominator being lawyer Stephen Kariuki Mburu, who has since died.

"The prosecution should prepare and present new charge sheets at the next mention for taking of plea. I made the above observations, recommendations and directions as I could not decipher from the perusal of the charges that the transaction involved, formed part of the same transaction or a series of transactions," he said.

The magistrate directed that all the accused persons, named in one transaction, should be named in one file. All the suspects had denied charges relating to the loss of Sh68 million at City Hall.

Other than conspiring to defraud Nairobi County of Sh58 million, Dr Kidero had denied acquiring Sh14.4 million from Mr Kariuki.

On his part, Mr Aduma had been charged with defrauding the city council of Nairobi Sh10 million through fraudulent payment to Mr Kariuki.

The case will be mentioned on January 16.

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