Okemo wants his extradition case heard separately from KPLC boss

Former Cabinet Minister Chris Okemo wants his extradition case be heard separately from that of the former Kenya Power and lighting company manager Samuel Gichuru.

Through his lawyer Fred Ngatia, Okemo successfully applied for the adjournment of his case on the grounds that the Director of Public Prosecutions filed and served submissions on July 21

Ngatia argued that the appeal be heard separately since Okemo’s case is clear and distinct from that of Gichuru and the charges are also different and distinct. Ngatia requested for 21 days to file written submissions.

“Okemo has never been an employee of Kenya Power and Lighting Company (KPLC) where Gichuru served as the Managing Director,” Ngatia told the court yesterday.

The three Judge bench, Hellen Okwengu, Martha Koome and Festus Azangala ruled that the matter be adjourned since the parties were not ready for the hearing.

“In our view the parties are not ready for today’s hearing case because the written submissions were inly served on July 21 and were not accompanied with a list of authorities. For that we are implying to allow an adjournment sought to allow parties file and serve written submissions,” ruled the three Judge bench.

Senior Assistant Director of Public Prosecutions Edwin Okello however argued that it will be a waste of time to hear the appeals separately.

“It will be a waste of judicial time to hear appeals separately. It is the position of the DPP that the appeals be heard together as they emanate from one judgment of the High Court and one rulling by the magistrate,” Okello said.

Okemo and Gichuru face 53 counts linked to the “commissions” through a Windward company that was created in the 1980s by Gichuru to receive kickbacks for the award of tenders to foreign firms during his tenure at Kenya Power.

The funds were usually disguised as consultancy fees or commissions charged to the companies.

Okemo has also been named as a beneficiary of bribes, according to court papers, and is also wanted in Jersey on money laundering and fraud charges.

Mr Gichuru and Mr Okemo face 53 counts linked to the “commissions”.

Details of the money were exposed when Gichuru’s wife filed court papers during proceedings for divorce. The wife claimed an estimated Sh1 billion was stashed abroad.

 

 

 

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