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Arrest warrant for ex-Karachuonyo MP James Rege dropped

Monday June 22 2020
rege pix

Former Rachuonyo MP James Rege. PHOTO | FILE | NATION MEDIA GROUP

By GEORGE ODIWUOR

A Homa Bay court has lifted the arrest warrant issued against former Karachuonyo MP James Rege after he was taken ill.

The court was informed that the former legislator is currently admitted at a hospital in Nairobi and cannot attend court sessions to face charges of abuse of office and mismanagement of public funds.

Last week, Senior Principal Magistrate Thomas Obutu issued an arrest warrant against the former MP after State Counsel Lazarus Sirtuy said Mr Rege had snubbed summons to appear in court.

Mr Rege is accused of defrauding the National Government Constituency Development Fund (NG-CDF) of Sh909,398 through a supply agreement for provision of telemedicine equipment to Kendu Adventist Hospital, a faith-based facility within Karachuonyo Constituency, when he served as MP ahead of the 2013 General Election.

On Monday, the MP’s lawyer Ishmael Nyaribo convinced the court that his client is admitted in hospital and cannot attend sessions.

The lawyer said Mr Rege was not aware of the charges he was facing and neither was he summoned to appear in court.

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“There was a warrant issued by this court which my client was not aware of.  He learnt about it through the media,” Mr Nyaribo said.

The lawyer produced documents to show that the former MP is admitted in hospital and needs time to recover before being charged.

He requested the court to grant his client one month to heal before taking a plea. State Counsel did not object the request. 

But Mr Obutu instructed the former legislator to appear in court on July 14 when he will take a plea.

Meanwhile, the second accused person in the case, Mr Kennedy Ochieng, was instructed to accompany Mr Rege next month when they will both be charged.

He presented himself in court on Monday after a warrant was issued against him last week. He is also represented by Mr Nyaribo.


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