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Gladys Shollei case deferred to January

COUNTIES
By Peace Loise Mbae and Faith Karanja | December 30th 2015
Former Chief Registrar of the Judiciary Gladys Shollei

Former Chief Registrar of the Judiciary Gladys Shollei's case has been deferred to next year. This was after the court was informed that she was not able to take plea as she was out of the country. 

In a letter to the court, Ms Shollei said she was not aware of her date in the corridors of justice since she was away on holiday.

Through her lawyer Hiram Kago, Shollei told the court she was not aware she was to take plea Tuesday.

"My client is abroad and will be back by next month for plea taking. She said she was not aware she was expected in court today," said Mr Kago.

But seven suspended judicial officers pleaded not guilty and were released on a cash bail of Sh300,000 or an alternative bond of Sh1 million and a surety of a similar amount.

Shollei, former Deputy Chief Registrar Kakai Kissinger, Martin Otieno (former Director Supply Chain Management) and Benedict Abonyo (former Director of Finance) are facing abuse of office charges over the construction of pre-fabricated court buildings.

"They used their office to improperly confer a benefit to Timsales Limited by varying the terms and conditions of the contract without approval from the tender committee," read the charge sheet.

The four are also facing charges of wilfully not complying with the law relating to procurement by failing to seek approval from the tender committee to conduct pre-contract negotiations.

Four others, Wycliffe Wanga, Nicholas Muturi, Nicholas Mbeba and Thomas Oloo, are also facing charges of abuse of office involving the procurement of Runyenjes court station through Timsales Limited, which led to the loss of Sh18 million.

Mr Kissinger is facing an independent charge that he authorised the payment of Sh150 million to the said company for the construction of Tawa Mavoko and Garson without authorisation from the tender committee.

Shollei and the seven are also facing similar charges in the procurement of a palatial home for the chief justice worth Sh310 million.

The defence team had requested for a personal bond on grounds that the accused have complied with the court in another case and were released on bond.

The lawyers urged the court to grant them the bond as they were not a flight risk and had proved that by being present in court when asked to.

Deputy Director of Public Prosecutions Counsel Njagi Nderitu opposed the personal bond, saying he had instructions to do so.

"The charges the accused are facing are of a serious nature because some of the counts involve loss of public funds," said Mr Nderitu.

But Kago said none of the accused was being accused of personal benefit.

The case will be mentioned on January 12.

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