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Jumwa lawyers storm out of court after charges are amended

NATIONAL
By Joackim Bwana | August 10th 2021

The amended charges read that Jumwa and others conspired to defraud the Malindi CDF. [Kelvin Karani, Standard]

A graft case involving Malindi MP Aisha Jumwa failed to take off yesterday after her lawyers stormed out of court.

The lawyers were protesting a decision by the prosecution to amend the charges. 

Lawyers Danstan Omari, Jared Magolo, Shadrack Wamboi and Titus Kirui said the prosecution had ambushed them with the new charges.

Ms Jumwa and five others were in 2019 charged with stealing Sh20 million from the National Government-Constituency Development Fund (NG-CDF).

Yesterday, the amended charges read that Jumwa and others conspired to defraud the Malindi CDF of Sh19 million.

The lawyers immediately applied for adjournment of the case to get instruction from their clients. But Chief Magistrate Edna Nyaloti declined and directed the amended charges be read to them.

“This is a trial by ambush. We urge the matter be adjourned,” said Omari.

Malindi MP Aisha Jumwa Katana. [Kelvin Karani, Standard]

He said they were no longer able to take instructions from their clients after the court decided to proceed and charge them with amended charges. He said the new charges had serious ramifications and targeted the accused.

“Since we cannot take any instructions from our clients as it is, we seek to withdraw our legal representation and have them look for new counsel,” said Omari.

The MP is accused alongside Wachu Omar Abdalla, Kennedy Otieno Onyango, Benard Riba Kai, Sophia Saidi Charo, Margaret Faith Kalume, Robert Katana Wanje and Multserve Contractors Limited.

Nyaloti ordered the lawyers to walk out. “Omari and your team you can now march out and leave the suspects to plead to the charges.” 

Jumwa sought a week to source for a new team of lawyers. “We need to reconcile with the lawyers before we get a new team, who will need more time to familiarise themselves with the matter,” said Jumwa.

The magistrate asked the MP to consult with her lawyers and convince them to come back because it would be unfair to waste a whole week.

“The prosecution has lined up 10 witnesses. Let us not waste public resources,” said Nyaloti. 

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