Swaleh, 5 others linked to fraud at Mudavadi's office denied bail

James William Mokoha (left), John Musundi Wabomba, Salim Swale Abdallah, Daniel Omondi Gogo, Terry Kemunto Seses and Otieno Japolo Michael at a Milimani court on June 24, 2024. [Collins Kweyu, Standard]

Director of Office of Prime Cabinet Secretary (OPCS) Press Service Salim Swaleh and five others accused of attempting to defraud two foreigners of Sh5.5 million meant for constructing two Kenyan stadia for the upcoming 2027 AFCON games spent another night in custody until (Tuesday) today when the court will rule on their detention pending probe.  

Milimani Magistrate Ben Mark Ekhubi ordered Swaleh, Otieno Japolo Michael, Terry Kemunto Sese, Daniel Omondi Gogo, John Musundi Wabomba and William Mokoha be detained at Capitol Hill Police Station until today pending his ruling on the application for custodial orders.

"As per the law, we can't sit past 5pm,  it is now 5.20 pm. l will reserve the ruling in this matter for tomorrow at 2 pm. l also need to consider the application by the state and the lengthy submissions made by the defence lawyers. Therefore the suspects are detained at Capitol Hill Police Station," Ekhubi ruled.

In his application, the Director of Criminal Investigations (DCI) Mohamed Amin sought 14 days to continue holding the six suspects linked to defrauding the foreigners from Dubai and South Africa USD 45,000 being equivalent to Sh5,580,000.

Amin through Inspector Nicholas Njoroge urged the court to allow him to continue detaining the suspects to allow his investigators in the ongoing complex probe that goes beyond the country's jurisdiction.

Swaleh and his co-suspects were arrested on Saturday night and are being investigated over offences of conspiracy to commit a felony, attempting to obtain money by false pretence and personating a person employed in the public service.

The DCI detective says that two foreign investors were lured to the country under the guise they were going to secure a contract for the construction of two stadiums for the upcoming AFCON 2027 games.

The DCI detective informed the court that the suspects were arrested in the office of Swaleh.

"The complainants were made to believe that after the meeting at Mudavadi's office, they would meet other government officials from the Ministry of Interior, and Ministry of Sports, Youth Affairs, two senators from the budget committee of parliament and sport committee with an aim of securing the tender of building the two stadia," Njoroge told the magistrate

The court heard that upon entering the said office, Swaleh paved the way allowing the other suspects to hold a meeting with the foreigners where Japolo personated himself as the chairman of the Government Delivery Unit domiciled at the Mudavadi's office, and thus would assist the foreigners in speeding up the tendering process.

Njoroge urged the court to grant them more time to record statements from the main contractor based in the U.A.E and who was also a victim, to obtain company registration details from relevant offices in Kenya, Dubai and South Africa.

While pleading for more days, the DCI officer said the suspects are likely to interfere with the ongoing investigations if released on bond terms.

Swaleh through his lawyers Sam Nyaberi, Danstan Omari, and Shadrack Wambui vehemently opposed the application saying the DCI had not tendered any compelling reasons to warrant his detention for another two weeks.