Former Karachuonyo MP James Rege can now breathe a sigh of relief after an anti-corruption court sitting in Homa Bay lifted a warrant of arrest against him over alleged misappropriation of Sh909,398 National Government Constituency Fund (NGCDF).
On Friday, the court had issued a warrant of arrest against Rege for failing to appear in court despite earlier summons.
But Rege on June 22 got a reprieve after his legal team convinced the court that indeed the ex-MP had compelling reasons not to attend.
Rege’s lawyer Ishmael Nyaribo told the court that Rege had not appeared in the court because he had been admitted at Karen Hospital in Nairobi where he had been undergoing treatment.
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Nyaribo produced a letter signed by a doctor from the hospital indicating that Rege is indeed unwell.
Appearing before Homa Bay Senior Principal Magistrate Thomas Obutu, Nyaribo argued that Rege was already in the hospital at the time he was expected to appear in court on Friday.
Never received summons
“My client’s doctor has informed me that he is sick and is undergoing medication at Karen hospital hence unable to attend court proceedings,” said Nyaribo.
Nyaribo added that Rege never received any summons from police that he was required to appear in court.
“Rege is a law-abiding citizen who cannot decline to appear in court when he is required to do so. He failed to appear because of unavoidable circumstances,” Nyaribo added.
He requested the court to lift the arrest warrant on condition that Rege cannot defy court orders.
“Kindly lift the warrant because this is a senior and law-abiding citizen who will comply with directives of the court,” he added.
The magistrate lifted the warrant on grounds that Rege was unable to appear in court.
“Through evidence adduced before me, the court has concluded that the accused person could not attend the court proceeding because he has been sick. The arrest warrant is hereby lifted,” Obutu ruled.
Obutu ordered that the former MP appear in court on July 14, 2020.
Rege with six other people who served in various capacities in the CDF management face allegations of public funds embezzlement.
Micheal Ocholla, Pacifica Kobe and Samuel Okuta were arraigned in court on Friday.
The suspects were issued with a bond of Sh1 million with a surety of a similar amount or a cash bail of Sh700,000.
Another suspect in the case, Kennedy Ochieng’ is set to be charged.
The crime is said to have occurred on diverse dates between 2011 and November 28, 2013, when Rege was the MP.