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Economy

Former Nyeri County executives lose bid for urgent hearing

From left: John Mwangi Maina, Martin Wamwea and Simon Wachira at the Nyeri Law Courts on September 26, 2016. PHOTO | NICHOLAS KOMU |
From left: John Mwangi Maina, Martin Wamwea and Simon Wachira at the Nyeri Law Courts on September 26, 2016. PHOTO | NICHOLAS KOMU |  NATION MEDIA GROUP

Three former Nyeri County bosses will spend more nights behind bars after the High Court refused to certify their appeal as urgent.

Justice Jairus Ngaah said Wednesday that there is nothing urgent about their appeal and directed that the case be heard on October 17.

“I have considered the issues raised this application but I have not found anything urgent to warrant it to be heard urgently,” said Justice Ngaah.

The former county executives - Mr John Mwangi Maina (Land), Mr Martin Kanjuaigwa Wamwea (Finance, Economy and Planning) and Simon Wachira Kagiri (Chief of Staff) - through lawyer Edward Oonge filed a certificate of urgency seeking to have the chief magistrates judgement which was delivered on Monday set aside.

Mr Oonge claims in his filing that the magistrate erred in both law and facts by convicting the three when the charges had not been proved beyond reasonable doubt.

“The magistrate erred by failing to find the evidence by the prosecution could not support a charges against the applicants,” stated Mr Oonge.

They are arguing that the charges against them were not proven by the prosecution and that they have an arguable appeal with high chances of succeeding.

Their lawyer wanted the case heard urgently and they be released on bond terms pending hearing of the appeal.

Nyeri Chief Magistrate John Onyiego found them guilty of failing to comply with procurement laws and funds management procedures, consequently jailing them for three years.

They had been charged with irregularly paying Sh3.7 million to a private firm, Pleng Ltd, without following procurement rules.

They were fined Sh400, 000 each or serve one year in jail.

Further, they were ordered to pay a compulsory fine of twice the amount that was lost in the illegal process (Sh7.5 million), failure to which they would serve two years in prison.

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