Tharaka-Nithi procurement boss denied bail in bribery case

Monday June 18 2018

Lawrence Mutembei, procurement director, Tharaka Nithi

Tharaka-Nithi County procurement director Lawrence Mutembei has been denied bond and will remain in custody for one week as detectives finalise investigations into bribery case against him. PHOTO | ALEX NJERU | NATION MEDIA GROUP 

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Tharaka-Nithi County procurement director Lawrence Mutembei will remain in police custody for seven more days after he was denied bail by a Chuka court.

Mr Mutembei was arrested by Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission (EACC) detectives at his office in Kathwana on Thursday last week on allegations of receiving a bribe.

The procurement boss was charged with three counts of corruption-related charges.

In the first count, the court heard that the accused requested for Sh40, 000 on June 13, 2018 from Mr Charles Mugendi, a supplier, to facilitate shortlisting of his company, Limsey Company Limited to supply stationery to Tharaka-Nithi County government.

In the second count, the court was told that the accused requested for a financial incentive of Sh20, 000, and the third count that he received Sh20, 000.

The state lawyer, Ms Jane Maari, asked the court for more time to allow detectives conclude their investigation.

“The accused was arrested on Thursday last week and the following day was a public holiday, therefore, public offices were not open for any investigation to be conducted,” said Ms Maari.

Ms Maari said the detectives also wanted more time to conduct a lifestyle audit on the director as requested by Tharaka Nithi Governor Muthomi Njuki.

She told the court that Mr Mutembei was likely to interfere with the ongoing probe if freed on bail.

But Mr Mutembei’s lawyer, Mr Kiogora Mugambi, countered the request by telling the court that the EACC detectives had already carried out their probe after transporting his client during a public holiday from Isiolo Police Station to his Kathwana office which they searched.

Mr Mugambi said the sleuths had also searched his client’s homes in Marima and Ndagani Estates.

“My client has been cooperating with the investigators since his arrest and I urge the court to release him on bail,” said Mr Mugambi.

However, Chief Magistrate John Njoroge agreed with the state lawyer that the detectives needed more time to conduct a thorough investigation.

Mr Mutembei will be brought in court again on June 25, 2018.