Senior county assembly officials to spend six days in remand

Homa Bay County Assembly Clerk Bob Kephas and Senior Accounts Controller Maurice Amek in the dock at Homa Bay Court. (James Omoro, Standard)
Two senior Homa Bay County Assembly officials who were arrested over graft allegations will spend moredays in remand prison after they were denied bail.

The Assembly Clerk Bob Kephas and Senior Accounts Controller Maurice Amek had been on the run since Thursday last week when Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission (EACC) officials arrested five current and former county assembly officials.

And on Wednesday, their lawyers’ spirited attempts to have them freed were thwarted when Homa Bay SeniorPrincipal Magistrate Thomas Obuto pushed the ruling on their bail application to Monday.

Gone into hiding

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Senior Prosecutor Hellen Mutellah told the court that Kephas and Amek had gone into hiding to prevent their arrest. Mutellah said the EACC investigative officers even summoned the two via SMS but they declined to honour the summons.

“The investigative officers further went to residential homes of the suspects but failed to find them. This indicated that they had decided evade the arrest,” she said.

She argued that the two should not be granted bond on grounds that they would interfere with investigations and witnesses.

The two are accused of embezzling Sh27.8 million as facilitation for travel, conference accommodation and allowances for MCAs and the county staff during financial years 2015-16 and 2016-17.

The prosecutor said this was not the first time the two suspects evaded arrest by the EACC.

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But the accused’s lawyers Ishamael Nyaribo said Daniel Bosire appealed to the court to grant their clients bond.

Nyaribo said the two were suffering from health complications, which would not allow them to stay in erratic conditions.

“Kephas is suffering from health issues which may be aggravated if they are exposed to poor conditions. I appeal to the court to grant them reasonable bond terms,” he said.

The lawyers said Amek had a medical report, which required him to have a complete bed rest over complications he suffered after being shot in the stomach in June.

“There is no compelling reason why the accused should be denied bond. The two are law abiding citizens because they presented themselves to police,” said Bosire.

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EACCBob KephasMaurice AmekHoma Bay County