NO MERIT

'Key' witness blocked in Sh200 million Waluke case

Earlier Waluke had strongly opposed the prosecutions plea to call on another witness in the case.

In Summary

• He said that allowing the prosecution to call a new witness amounts to re-opening the case and also pre-opening investigations which is contrary to the law.

• Waluke, through his legal team, said that the prosecution has no evidence against him and calling another witness is just a delay tactic.

Sirisia MP John Waluke
CASE: Sirisia MP John Waluke
Image: /FILE

A magistrate on Thursday dismissed an application by the State to call a new witness in the Sh297 million graft case against Sirisia MP John Waluke.

Chief magistrate Elizabeth Juma, in her ruling, said the prosecution's application to call a new witness after the case had been closed had no merit.

She said that allowing the prosecution to call a new witness amounts to re-opening the case and also pre-opening investigations, which is contrary to the law.

 
 
 

"The prosecution made the application after the case had been closed, to fill in the gaps they left us when they started," Juma said.

Earlier, Waluke had opposed the prosecution's plea to call on another witness in the case.

Waluke, through his legal team, said the prosecution had no evidence against him and calling another witness was "just a delay tactic".

“The prosecution ought to have called on new witnesses before they closed their case,”  Waluke said.

He told the court that 27 witnesses have testified in the matter.

“This application is intended to fill in the gaps in the prosecution case because they have a feeling that the defence has enough evidence that the offence was not committed,” Waluke said.

The prosecution had made an application to have Leon Maynard accommodated to give his testimony in the case.

 
 
 

They told the court that the new witnesses had some information that was key to their case.

They said that the evidence that the new witness will give is likely to assist the court in making a just determination of the matter.

Waluke has insisted that Sh200 million his companies received from the National Cereals and Produce Board (NCPB) 10 years ago was not illegal.

The MP was defending himself in the Sh297 million maize fraud case.

“The money was sent to my company Erad Supplies and General Contracts Limited after an arbitrator ruled in favour of the company, and we moved to court to enforce the award,” he said.

He said Erad Company sued NCPB for breach of contract after it failed to give letters of credit after securing maize from Ethiopia.

Waluke said the company won a contract to supply 400,000 tonnes of maize but the state terminated the deal due to a lack of funds.

Then, in 2004-05, drought hit the country and there was a shortage of over six million bags of maize.

The Agriculture ministry then, in a letter dated July 19, 2004, instructed NCPB to purchase two million bags of maize for famine relief and strategic grain reserve.

The prosecution accused the two of uttering a false document and fraudulent acquisition of public funds.

The charges against Waluke and two other persons state that being directors of Erad Suppliers and General Contractors Ltd, they presented a false invoice of Sh115,072,725 on February 24, 2009, as evidence in the arbitration dispute between the company and NCPB.

Waluke said from the payout, he got Sh50 million, while the co-directors Jacob Juma and Grace Wakhungu, got Sh113 million and Sh40 million, respectively.

The magistrate ordered the parties to file their final written applications and exchange the same before coming for highlighting the same in court on January 15.

e.

Chief magistrate Elizabeth Juma, in her ruling, said the prosecution's application to call a new witness after the case had been closed had no merit.

She said that allowing the prosecution to call a new witness amounts to re-opening the case and also pre-opening investigations, which is contrary to the law.

 
 
 

"The prosecution made the application after the case had been closed, to fill in the gaps they left us when they started," Juma said.

Earlier, Waluke had opposed the prosecution's plea to call on another witness in the case.

Waluke, through his legal team, said the prosecution had no evidence against him and calling another witness was "just a delay tactic".

“The prosecution ought to have called on new witnesses before they closed their case,”  Waluke said.

He told the court that 27 witnesses have testified in the matter.

“This application is intended to fill in the gaps in the prosecution case because they have a feeling that the defence has enough evidence that the offence was not committed,” Waluke said.

The prosecution had made an application to have Leon Maynard accommodated to give his testimony in the case.

 
 
 

They told the court that the new witnesses had some information that was key to their case.

They said that the evidence that the new witness will give is likely to assist the court in making a just determination of the matter.

Waluke has insisted that Sh200 million his companies received from the National Cereals and Produce Board (NCPB) 10 years ago was not illegal.

The MP was defending himself in the Sh297 million maize fraud case.

“The money was sent to my company Erad Supplies and General Contracts Limited after an arbitrator ruled in favour of the company, and we moved to court to enforce the award,” he said.

He said Erad Company sued NCPB for breach of contract after it failed to give letters of credit after securing maize from Ethiopia.

Waluke said the company won a contract to supply 400,000 tonnes of maize but the state terminated the deal due to a lack of funds.

Then, in 2004-05, drought hit the country and there was a shortage of over six million bags of maize.

The Agriculture ministry then, in a letter dated July 19, 2004, instructed NCPB to purchase two million bags of maize for famine relief and strategic grain reserve.

The prosecution accused the two of uttering a false document and fraudulent acquisition of public funds.

The charges against Waluke and two other persons state that being directors of Erad Suppliers and General Contractors Ltd, they presented a false invoice of Sh115,072,725 on February 24, 2009, as evidence in the arbitration dispute between the company and NCPB.

Waluke said from the payout, he got Sh50 million, while the co-directors Jacob Juma and Grace Wakhungu, got Sh113 million and Sh40 million, respectively.

The magistrate ordered the parties to file their final written applications and exchange the same before coming for highlighting the same in court on January 15.