Garissa Governor Ali Korane seeks direction in Sh233m graft case

Garissa County Governor Ali Korane

 Garissa County Governor Ali Korane before the anti-corruption court in Nairobi on Monday, August 9, 2021. 

Photo credit: Dennis Onsongo | Nation Media Group

Garissa Governor Ali Korane and four County Government officials facing graft charges are seeking directions regarding how they will be tried following the transfer of magistrate Douglas Ogoti.

The case is related to the alleged misappropriation of Sh233 million linked to a World Bank-funded project.

Mr Korane, Mr Ibrahim Malow Nur alias Ibrahim Malow Nur Shurie, Mr Mohamed Ahmed Abdullahi, Mr Abdi Shalle Bulle and Mr Ahmed Abdullahi Aden urged chief magistrate Lawrence Mugambi to give directions on how the case will proceed.

Defence lawyer Edward Oonge told Mr Mugambi on Monday that some evidence was already presented before Mr Ogoti, who has since been transferred from Nairobi to another station.

Mr Mugambi asked the accused persons to return to court on August 24, 2021 for further directions.

The county boss was charged alongside his Finance chief officer Mr Nur, head of Treasury Mr Abdullahi, municipality county executive officer Mr Bulle and the municipal head of Accounting Mr Abdullahi.

They denied eight criminal counts before the Milimani Anti-corruption Court. The charges include conspiracy to commit an economic crime, misappropriation of public funds and willful failure to comply with laws relating to management of funds.

They are accused of committing the offences between February 25 and September 30, 2019.

The governor faced a separate count involving willful failure to comply with laws relating to management of funds and use of county resources.

The court heard that the governor's actions resulted in mismanagement of Sh233.5 million allocated to his administration as a conditional grant for the Kenya Urban Support Programme (KUSP).

Mr Korane is out on Sh5 million bond with one surety or Sh3.25 million cash bail. The four county officials are out on Sh3 million bond or Sh1.2 million cash bail each.

All the accused have been barred from setting foot at the county government offices pending determination of the case.

Mr Korane is the sixth county boss to lose access to his office over allegations of graft. Others who have been locked out so far are Moses Lenolkulal (Samburu), Mike Sonko (Nairobi), Okoth Obado (Migori) and Muthomi Njuki (Tharaka-Nithi), and Kiambu’s former Governor Ferdinand Waititu.