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County men arrested as they arrive at the court

By James Omoro | Published Thu, August 23rd 2018 at 00:00, Updated August 22nd 2018 at 21:43 GMT +3

Former and current members of the Homa Bay County Assembly Service Board appear in court. They were granted cash bail of sh2m and surety of similar amount. on August 22, 2018. Drama ensued when two senior Homa Bay County Assembly officials who evaded arrest by the Ethics and Anti Corruption Commission (EACC) opted to present themselves in court. [PHOTO: JAMES OMORO/STANDARD]

Two senior county assembly employees who were being sought by anti-corruption officials have been arrested.

The county assembly clerk, Bob Kephas, and senior account controller, Maurice Amek, were seized by Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission (EACC) officials, who have been hunting them since last Friday, as they tried to present themselves to a court yesterday.

Director of Public Prosecutions Noordin Haji had ordered the arrest of the pair and five former and current county assembly officials over alleged misuse of over Sh27 million.

The two were missing from their offices and homes last Thursday when their colleagues were arrested, prompting Homa Bay Senior Principal Magistrate Thomas Obuto to issue warrants of arrest against them.

Two officials

The officials were arrested yesterday as they tried to enter the courtroom.

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The two, who were accompanied by more than five lawyers, had been driven to the court's entrance.

The police, who had been monitoring their movements, blocked their vehicle and ordered them and their lawyers to disembark.

The two county assembly officials were taken to the nearby police station.

The suspects’ lawyers, who included Ishmael Nyaribo and Daniel Bosire, later complained before Obuto about the treatment of their clients.

They accused the police of harassing Mr Kephas and Mr Amek and asked him to order that they be brought to court immediately.

“Our client Kephas has health issues which cannot allow him to stay under erratic conditions in police cells. We request the court to allow him to be brought in now,” said Mr Bosire.

But Senior Prosecutor Hellen Mutellah objected, arguing that police needed time to process the accused.

She said the Government had qualified health practitioners who could attend to the accused.

The prosecutor's objection appeared to have displeased the defence lawyers, prompting one of them to tell the court to suspend proceedings briefly to allow consultation

But the magistrate took exception to the tone of the lawyer and told him to stop directing him.

“I am the one in charge of the proceedings, hence you cannot direct me on what to do,” said Mr Obuto.

He later ordered that Kephas and Amek be brought to court at 3pm.

Five freed

The five former and current members of the county assembly service board who were arrested last Thursday were released on cash bail of Sh2 million and a surety of the same amount.

They were told not to interfere with investigations and were required to attend all court proceedings.

 


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