- Waluke was found guilty of fraud and illegal acquisition of Sh313 million through shady deals at the National Cereals and Produce Board and sentenced to 67 years in jail on June 22, 2020 by the Anti-Corruption Court.
- The MP however appealed that decision at the High Court but lost and was sent back to jail in November 2022.
Sirisia MP John Waluke on Monday put up a spirited fight for his freedom, telling appellate judges that he was wrongfully convicted in the Sh313 million NCPB scandal in 2014.
Waluke was found guilty of fraud and illegal acquisition of Sh313 million through shady deals at the National Cereals and Produce Board and sentenced to 67 years in jail on June 22, 2020, by the Anti-Corruption Court.
He was handed an alternative fine of Sh1 billion.
The MP however appealed that decision at the High Court but lost and was sent back to jail in November 2022.
He then moved to the Court of Appeal which granted him a bond of Sh10 million.
During his final submissions on Monday, Waluke urged Court of Appeal judges Asike Makhandia, Sankale Ole Kantai and Grace Ngenye to quash his jailing arguing that the Sh313 million that formed the basis of his conviction was lawfully paid out to him.
His lawyers Otiende Amolo and Elisha Ongoya told the court that the lawmaker's case was misunderstood and the harsh penalty of 67 years behind bars imposed on him after political influence.
They held that the money in question was lawfully paid to Walukhe and co-convict Grace Wakhungu following an award after an arbitration that was confirmed by the High Court against the National Cereals and Produce Board.
The orders of the arbitrator have not been set aside since 2012 when they were issued.
Waluke asked the court to determine whether payment of monies made pursuant to court proceedings arising from an arbitrator award and payment made pursuant to a garnishee order can sustain a criminal charge and conviction.
"Our client remains innocent, and we pray that this honourable court will review this matter and set the record straight," Otiende said.
Waluke argued that it was the same judicial system that awarded him payments through breach of contract by NCPB.
The MP had the 67-year jail term imposed on him by trial magistrate Elizabeth Juma who said the case against the lawmaker was proved beyond reasonable doubt.
In his appeal at the High Court, Justice Esther Maina concurred with the findings of the magistrate and dismissed Waluke's case.
"The sentences were not excessive. They are within the law. Conviction and sentences affirmed," Justice Maina said.
Maina said Waluke and Wakhungu will have to pay the fines or serve the sentences. Wakhungu was sentenced to 69 years in prison.
Both Waluke and Wakhungu are directors of Erad Suppliers that was alleged to have fraudulently acquired the Sh313 million purporting it to be the costs of storage of 40,000 metric tonnes of white maize purportedly incurred by Chelsea Freights.
Both the magistrate and the High Court found that the invoice upon which the claim for payment was based was a forgery.
“Waluke presented it to the arbitrator knowing Erad Supplied Limited had no deal with the maker of the invoice -Chelsea Freight Limited- and as a result, it was paid huge sums of money by a public body,” Justice Maina observed.