Garissa Governor Ali Korane and four others have Tuesday been arraigned in court over alledged embezzlement of Ksh 233.5 million.

The four co-accused are Ibrahim Malow Nur (Chief Finance Officer), Mohamed Ahmed Abdullahi (Head of Treasury), Abdi Shale (County Executive Officer Municipality) and Ahmed Abdullahi Aden (head of accounting at the Municipal).

The five are being charged with with conspiracy to commit an offence of economic crime, misappropriation of public funds, abuse of office, engaging in a project without prior planning and willful failure to comply with the law.

They both denied the charges and were released on bond. The governor was granted Sh3.2 million cash bail while the rest are to pay Sh1.2 million to secure their freedom.

Nairobi Chief Magistrate Douglas Ogoti barred Garissa Governor Korane from accessing the office until matter is heard and determined.

Through lawyers Ahmednassir Abdullahi and Paul Nyamodi, the accused fought a DPP request that sought to bar them from accessing their offices. The lawyers argued that the charge sheet does not disclose any offence.

The DPP, through State Counsel Alexander Muteti, urged the court not to depart from a High Court precedent that has seen five other governors lose access to their offices after being implicated in graft.

Those who have been locked out so far include Samburu’s Moses Lenolkulal, Mike Sonko (Nairobi), Okoth Obado (Migori), Muthomi Njuki (Tharaka-Nithi) and Kiambu’s former governor Ferdinand Waititu.

According to investigators, the misappropriated funds were a grant from the World Bank and were meant for the construction of the Qorahey Market, a drainage system as well as re-carpeting of roads within Garissa Township.

Their prosecution was approved by the Director of Public Prosecutions Noordin Haji on Thursday in a directive that saw the embattled Governor spend a night in EACC cells.

According to Haji, the EACC had established that the five were culpable after they allegedly misused the funds received by the county administration under the Urban Support Programme.

Korane’s first term in office has not lacked controversies having been arrested in August 2018, a year after his election, over the shooting of former finance executive Idris Mkutar.

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