Chief Magistrate Douglas Ogoti has rejected a plea to postpone the trial of former Nairobi governor Evans Kidero and 10 others over concerns of Covid-19 infection risks. While declining the request, the magistrate assured the parties that the court proceedings would be conducted in compliance with health safety protocols.
Mr Ogoti said a courtroom, which can accommodate up to 38 people has been set up and those who cannot attend the hearing can follow the proceedings online. “The application to adjourn the matter is therefore declined,” Mr Ogoti ruled.
He also took the opportunity to ask the accused persons whether they had been vaccinated and it emerged that almost all of them have received the jabs.
Lawyer John Mburu who represents Mr Luke Mugo had raised concerns over social distance and the parked courtroom. Another lawyer, Paul Ng’arua said his client- Ms Lilian Ndegwa is still recovering and pleaded with the court to allow her to follow proceedings online.
Dr Kidero has been charged together with former County secretary Lilian Ndegwa, former chief finance officer Jimmy Mutuku Kiamba, a former minister in charge of finance and planning Gregory Mwakanongo, and former accounting head Stephen Ogago Osiro.
Others are former acting chief finance officer Luke Mugo and former acting head of Treasury Maurice Ochieng Okere, businessman John Githua and Grace Njeri of Lodwar Wholesalers Ltd and Ngurumani Traders Ltd, respectively.
The charges against them state that they conspired to commit fraud which led to the loss of Sh213 million at the county government between January 16, 2014, and January 25, 2016.
In other news – Cop one of 4 arrested in Kilimani police operation
A police officer is among four men who were arrested for illegal possession of firearms in the Kilimani area, Nairobi.
Police said they recovered two pistols, two police handcuffs, one Ceska magazine loaded with seven rounds of 9mm ammunition, one police pocket phone, and several identification cards from a car three of the men were using. Learn more