Garissa Governor Ali Korane: Forty-five witnesses are lined up to testify the graft case

Garissa County Governor Ali Bunow Korane before the anti-corruption court in Nairobi on Thursday, August 26, 2021.

Forty-five witnesses are lined up to testify in the Sh233 million graft case against Garissa Governor Ali Korane. According to Daily Nation reported.

A state prosecutor told trial Magistrate Elizabeth Juma that one witness had begun to testify before Chief Magistrate Douglas Ogoti, who has since been transferred to Embu in the same capacity. Ms Juma heard that both the prosecution and defence have agreed to proceed from where Mr Ogoti had reached.

Ms Juma asked the parties to address her on the way forward given the requirements under Section 200 of the Evidence Act. Under that section, a suspect is called upon to elect whether a case against him or her will start afresh or proceed from where it had reached when a new trial magistrate takes over.

However, defence lawyers led by Mansur Issa told the magistrate all the parties in the case had agreed to proceed from where Mr Ogoti had reached.

The prosecutor agreed, adding that a total of 45 witnesses have been lined up to testify against Mr Korane and four others.

The governor, who is out on Sh3.2 million cash bail, will return to court on November 15 when the hearing resumes. The other suspects charged alongside the governor were freed on Sh1.2 million cash bail each.

The accused denied graft charges relating to misappropriation of Sh233 million meant for a World Bank-funded project.

Mr Korane was charged alongside the county finance chief officer Ibrahim Nur Malow, head of county treasury Mohammed Ahmed Abdullahi, municipality county executive officer Abdi Shale and the municipal head of accounting Ahmed Abdullahi. They are accused of conspiracy to commit an economic crime, misappropriation of public funds and wilful failure to comply with the law relating to management of funds.

They allegedly committed the offences between February 25 and September 30, 2019.

The governor faced a separate count involving wilful failure to comply with laws relating to management of funds and use of county resources. Mr Korane joins other governors who have been prohibited from accessing their offices.

They are Moses Lenolkulal (Samburu), Mike Sonko (Nairobi), Okoth Obado (Migori) and Muthomi Njuki (Tharaka-Nithi).

Former Kiambu governor Ferdinand Waititu has also been charged with graft-related offences.