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Former Sports Cabinet Secretary Echesa, five others deny charges

By , People Daily Digital
Wednesday, March 4th, 2020 00:00 | 2 mins read
Former Sports Cabinet Secretary Rashid Echesa (right) with two of his co-accused at the Milimani Law Courts, Nairobi, yesterday. Photo/PD/CHARLES MATHAI

Alphonce Mung’ahu

Former Sports Cabinet Secretary Rashid Echesa and five others were yesterday charged with 15 counts relating to a  fake arms deal.

The suspects are accused of  attempting to obtain over Sh39.5 billion from businessman Kozlowski Stanley Bruno by falsely pretending they would be awarded a tender by the State Department of Defence to supply military equipment.

In the fresh consolidated charges, Echesa is jointly charged with Daniel Otieno, Clifford Okoth, Kennedy Oyoo Mboya, Chrispin Oduor Odipo and Pzels Company Limited, a firm which Odipo is a director.

They appeared before Milimani Senior Principal Magistrate Kennedy Cheruiyot where they denied the 15 counts that include conspiracy to commit a felony, making a documents without authority and obtaining Sh11.5 million from Bruno by falsely pretending that they were in position to supply military equipment.

They also pleaded not guilty to the charge of attempting to obtain USD 395,442,000 million (Sh39.5 billion) from Bruno by falsely pretending that he would be awarded a tender. 

Echesa alone denied another charge of falsely claiming to be Deputy President William Ruto’s personal assistant.

He is said to have presented himself to Bruno and Mamdough Mostafa Amer Lofty to be a person employed in the public service as PA to the Deputy President.

Otieno is accused of passing himself off as General Juma of Kenya Defence Forces and pretending he was in a position to award Bruno and Lofty a tender to supply a security surveillance system.

The prosecution led by Assistant Director of Public Prosecutions Jacinta Nyamosi and Senior State Counsel Kennedy Panyako opposed bail application by defence saying the accused, if released, will interfere with scene of crime and witnesses.

All the accused are being represented by a team of lawyers led by Cliff Ombeta who urged the court to issue an order compelling the police to release Echesa’s licensed firearm they revoked, confiscated two pistols and a motor vehicle (Range Rover) which they said were not part of the case before court.

The magistrate gave the prosecution more time to respond to the defence application until March 11 before making his ruling.

At the same time the magistrate deferred until this morning a ruling on whether to reduce bond terms imposed on Onyango and  Mboya who the lawyers said are unable to raise Sh1 million cash bail.

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