Former Sports CS Echesa, co-accused to be freed after probe
Monday, February 17th, 2020
Former Sports Cabinet Secretary Rashid Echesa and three others arrested over Sh39 billion military equipment scam are expected to be released from police custody any time before 6pm today.
This follows Friday’s orders by Senior Principal Magistrate Lucas Onyina of Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (JKIA) that Echesa and three others should remain in police custody until Monday to enable detectives conclude investigations.
He directed that the suspects be released upon depositing Sh1 million each and return to court for mention on Tuesday, February 18 for further directions.
The magistrate also allowed the police to conduct a search in the houses of Echesa, Daniel Otieno, Clifford Okoth and Kennedy Oyoo Mboya, who are being held at the Muthaiga Police Station.
In an affidavit filed in court, police Constable John Munjama, who is attached to Serious Crimes Unit at the Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI), said he was investigating claims of making a document without authority.
He had sought to detain the suspects for 21 days, arguing that the three were likely to destroy evidence, mostly documents in their possession.
The prosecution informed the court that investigators needed to travel to the US to collect evidence and that releasing them would jeopardise the collection of evidence, some of which was found in Echesa’s vehicles.
But Echesa and his co-accused, through their lawyers Evans Ondieki and Brian Khaemba who is also a former judiciary senior officer strongly objected to the police request, saying their arrest was politically motivated.
Ondieki told the court that Echesa is being harassed because of his stand when he held a parallel BBI meeting in Mumias town.
They said the arrest was malicious given the day of arrest, the time and number of days the police sought to hold them.