- Arafat Ikumu Omar alias Rashid Koweh Omar denied the charge before Kiambu senior principal magistrate Grace Omodho.
- Omar is the main suspect in the scam after Sh52 million fake money was allegedly found in his house at Sapphire Heights Apartments.
A principal suspect in the Sh52 million fake currency scam Arafat Ikumi Omar was Monday charged in a Kiambu court with obtaining more than Sh8 million by false pretense.
Arafat Ikumu Omar alias Rashid Koweh Omar denied the charge before Kiambu senior principal magistrate Grace Omodho.
Omar is the main suspect in the scam after Sh52 million fake money was allegedly found in his house at Sapphire Heights Apartments along George Padmore Road in Nairobi in 2018.
He was charged with attempting to defraud Jedidah Thotho of Sh8,258,830 on diverse dates between July 2 and August 5, at Village Market in Nairobi.
Prosecutors said he falsely pretended to have a package at the nearby United Nations headquarters that required to be cleared.
Through lawyer Sam Nyaberi, the accused asked for reasonable bond terms and sought witness statements and documentary evidence. He cited the Covid-19 pandemic in his plea for lenient bond, saying the disease has adversely impacted business.
Prosecutor Christine Mitheka, however, opposed the application for bail on grounds that the accused is a habitual offender. Mitheka said Omar was facing trial in the Milimani law courts in Nairobi in two separate cases both which are yet to be concluded.
Mitheka said the two cases are seriously loaded with 16 counts in total. The accused is holding passports from South Sudan, the prosecutor said.
“ The state is apprehensive that the accused could be holding more illegal documents and should be detained to avert any further criminal activity. It is the prosecution's view that if the accused can continue engaging in criminal activities even while facing other trials, then he is not trustworthy to be left to enjoy his freedom,” Mitheka said.
However, Nyaberi urged the court to consider the accused innocence in the matter at hand as no record of conviction was placed before the court. He said there was no evidence to suggest the accused was a flight risk.
In her ruling, Omodho agreed with the defence and granted Omar a bond of Sh4 million with an alternative bail of Sh1 million.
She said the court had perused the record and confirmed with the prosecution that as much as the accused faces trial before other courts, he had no history of jumping bail. She said no evidence had been presented before the court to show that the accused had become a flight risk.
“Indeed the accused must be presumed innocent until proven guilty both in this court and any other court. No record of conviction has been presented before this court to back allegations that the accused is a habitual offender. The accused life is not in danger either,”Omodho said.
The magistrate said no compelling reasons had been presented before the court to deny the right to bond.
The matter will be mentioned on September 29. Hearing was scheduled for November 18.