Lenolkulal allowed to travel to US amid Sh84m graft case

Friday May 24 2019

Lenolkulal

Samburu Governor Moses Kasaine Lenolkulal at the Milimani Law Courts in Nairobi on Tuesday, April 2, 2019. PHOTO | DENNIS ONSONGO | NATION MEDIA GROUP 

MAUREEN KAKAH
By MAUREEN KAKAH
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An Anti-Corruption Court has allowed Samburu Governor Moses Kasaine Lenolkulal, who is facing a Sh84 million corruption charge, to travel to the United States for one week.

Governor Lenolkulal was on Friday given his passport for the trip that will see him attend a Masters class programme.

The prosecution protested, saying the county chief was evading justice and seeking to extend his trial, but Senior Principal Magistrate Felix Kombo said he did not make the request in bad faith.

The magistrate, however, asked Mr Lenolkulal to return the passport within 48 hours of returning to the country.

“Education is an important activity and this court should not stop it. I find no reason [to conclude that the] accused is attempting to prolong his trial," he said.

"The court is hereby pleased to order release of the governor’s passport for a limited period to enable him travel to the US from June 3 to June 10.”

SURETY

Since a pre-trial conference will be held on June 5, the magistrate asked Mr Lenolkulal's lawyers to ensure they represent him.

The governor was also ordered to avail a surety for the period he will be out of the court’s jurisdiction as well as a guarantee that he will attend the trial.

Mr Lenolkulal is pursuing an international module at New York University. His lawyers noted it is crucial to the fulfilment of the requirements for his Masters programme.

The governor was charged in April and released on the highest-ever cash bail of Sh 100 million, with alternative of Sh150 million bond with a surety of the same amount.

His challenge at the High Court saw the figure reduced to Sh 10 million.

THE ACCUSATION

The court also asked the director of the Integrated Financial Management System (Ifmis) to deny Mr Lenolkulal and 13 other county officials access in order to safeguard public funds.

They were all charged with conspiring to commit corruption, leading to the unlawful payment of Sh 84,695,996 to Mr Lenolkulal through a petrol station known as Oryx Service Station.

The offense was allegedly committed between March 27, 2013 and March 25, 2019 in Maralal town.

Mr Lenolkulal was also charged with unlawful acquisition of Sh84.6 million from the county as well as abuse office by allegedly conferring a benefit to himself through paying his company the said monies.

The matter of conflict of interest came up as he was also accused of knowingly acquiring direct private interest by supplying fuel to the county through his petrol station.