Sh233m graft case against governor, 3 men ‘unstoppable’

Garissa Governor Ali Korane before the Senate, October 2020. [Elvis Ogina, Standard]

Garissa Governor Ali Korane and his three co-accused have lost a bid to stop their prosecution over the misappropriation of Sh233 million from the county coffers.

Mr Korane, Abdi Bulee, Ibrahim Shurie and Ahmed Abdullahi had challenged their prosecution on account that the money was refunded. But High Court judge Esther Maina ruled that they must face the full trial for other charges of conspiracy to defraud.

“If they believe there was no misappropriation of funds, then the trial court would be the proper tribunal to determine the issue upon hearing and evaluating the evidence from both sides. This court cannot interfere with a proper process before the Magistrate’s Court,” Justice Maina ruled.

According to Maina, the accused had not proved that the charges against them were commenced through an ulterior motive since the charges do not disclose any offense to warrant them being in the dock.

She said the Director of Public Prosecutions did nothing wrong in approving charges against the governor and that there was nothing to show that the accused persons were being victimised to achieve a certain agenda.

“I’m not persuaded that their prosecution is an abuse of court process. They will have an opportunity to adduce the evidence and facts they have raised before the trial court and should they be convicted and feel aggrieved, they will still come to this court for appeal,” ruled Maina.

Korane, alongside the three county officials, were charged in September 2020 with a total eight counts of conspiracy to commit an economic crime, failing to comply with laws relating to management of public funds and misappropriation of public funds.

The charges stated that between February and September 2019, they conspired to mismanage Sh233,506,000 allocated to the county as a conditional grant from Kenya Urban Support Programme.