Sirisia MP John Walukhe and his co-accused Grace Wakhungu have been released on cash bail pending the hearing and determination of an appeal filed at the High Court.
Walukhe and Wakhungu were on Monday granted Sh10 million and Sh20 million cash bail respectively by Justice John Onyiengo. The judge ruled that there were no sufficient grounds to deny them bail, adding that they both met the threshold.
The two were directed to deposit their passports with the court and report to the court’s deputy registrar on a monthly basis.
Walukhe and Wakhungu were on June 25th handed jail terms of 67 and 69 years respectively after they were found guilty of defrauding the National Cereals and Produce Board (NCPB) of over Sh300 million. They were convicted of several offenses, each carrying sentences of between one to seven years.
Alternatively, Walukhe and Wakhungu were ordered to pay huge fines of Sh727 million and 707 million respectively by Chief Magistrate Elizabeth Juma.
Both were listed as directors of Erad General Suppliers, the company that received an irregular payment amounting to Sh313 million from NCPB in 2004.
The court was told that the accused persons received the funds after winning a tender to supply 40,000 tons of white maize to NCPB. The tender was however canceled after Erad Supplies failed to prove it had sufficient funds to supply the maize.
The company ended up pocketing Sh313 million after it sued NCPB, arguing that by the time the contract was canceled, they had already procured the maize from Ethiopia and that it had been stored by South African company Chelsea Freight in Djibouti for 123 days.
They said they were charged $1,146,000 for storage and were anticipating a profit amounting to $1,960,000. The court therefore awarded the accused compensation totaling $3,106,000 as loss of profit and storage charges.
While convicting the two, Magistrate Juma noted that evidence showed the accused forged an invoice to demand payment of the money charged as storage fees for the maize.