Economy

Waluke, Wakhungu freed on bail after three months in jail

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Sirisia MP John Waluke. FILE PHOTO | NMG

Summary

  • Justice John Onyiego gave the two corruption convicts an alternative of depositing bonds of Sh20 million and Sh30 million, respectively, with sureties of similar amounts.
  • The two convicts were imprisoned on June 22, this year by the Anti-Corruption Court after being found guilty of fraud and illegal acquisition of Sh297 million through shady deals at the National Cereals and Produce Board (NCPB).

Sirisia MP John Waluke and his business partner Grace Wakhungu have been released on Sh10 million and Sh20 million cash bail respectively after spending three months in jail for theft.

Justice John Onyiego gave the two corruption convicts an alternative of depositing bonds of Sh20 million and Sh30 million, respectively, with sureties of similar amounts.

The two convicts were imprisoned on June 22, this year by the Anti-Corruption Court after being found guilty of fraud and illegal acquisition of Sh297 million through shady deals at the National Cereals and Produce Board (NCPB).

Judge Onyiego directed the court’s Deputy Registrar to consult the Judiciary Accounts office to determine whether the bonds the convicts had deposited at the lower court during trial had been returned after the imprisonment.

Should the registrar find the bonds are still retained by the Judiciary, the same will be factored in when processing the fresh bails. The two were out on a cash bail of Sh2 million each ahead of their conviction.

While ruling on the bail application, Justice Onyiego found that the two convicts have an arguable appeal against the lower court’s judgment. Among the issues the court noted are arguable is the legality of the sentences and whether the payments made by NCPB to the convicts’ trading company, Erad Supplies Lt, were illegal or valid.

The judge directed them to deposit their passports in court and that pending the appeal they should not leave the country without the court's permission.

Another condition was that the convicts should be reporting to the High Court deputy register once a month. The appeal will be mentioned on October 14, this year for directions.

Upon conviction, the trial court imposed a combined fine of Sh2 billion. In default, Ms Wakhungu was handed a 39-year sentence while the MP was slapped with a 34-year sentence.

In the pending appeal, the two convicts want their conviction and sentence set aside and quashed on grounds that the said money their company received from NCPB was legal and not out of fraud as claimed by the prosecution.