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KPC paid money to lawyers, not Ruto

NAIROBI, Kenya, Jan 31 – A former Finance Manager with the Kenya Pipeline Company has told a Nairobi court that no money was directly paid to Eldoret North MP William Ruto and his co accused in the multi-million shillings fraud case against them.

Caleb Manyaga told the court that three cheques drawn by the parastatal were paid to lawyers\’  firms and there is nowhere it was indicated that the payment was for Mr Ruto, or his two co-accused Joshua Kulei or Sammy Mwaita.

Mr Manyaga told the court that the cheques were paid to lawyers Nyaudi, Tuiyot, Ruth Karanja and Kajwang & Kajwang Advocates.

"Three cheques amounting to 272,273,100 were issued on various dates to the advocates but there was no indication of the names of the accused persons or their associated companies," Mr Manyaga said.

Mr Manyaga who was led in his evidence by Senior State Counsel Vincent Wohoro however said that there were some approvals which seemed not to have been given as required.

He said the Chief Internal Auditor should have penned his approval which was not indicated in the vouchers as required in normal circumstances but the defence lawyers countered the argument saying that was purely an internal matter.

A senior lands officer who issued allotment letters for the plots in question told the court that all legal procedures were followed when the plots were allocated to various individuals.

Peter Nzuki told the court that he did due diligence when he issued 22 allotment letters to the subject plots and added that the land was designated by the government as residential plots.

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"I believe the law was available at the time I issued the allotment letters and all due process was followed," Mr Nzuki said.

Mr Ruto is accused of accepting at least Sh38 million from KPC Manager Hellen Njue, by pretending he would sell the firm land in Ngong Forest.

Earlier, Nairobi lawyer Kioko Kilukumi withdrew from representing Mr Ruto in the case following his nomination as the Director of Public Prosecution.

He was nominated by President Mwai Kibaki last Friday alongside Prof. Githu Muigai as the Attorney General, Justice Alnashir Visram as Chief Justice and William Kirwa as Controller of Budget.

When the case came up for hearing on Monday, Mr Kilukumi said it would be unethical and professionally untenable for him to continue representing Mr Ruto.

"I have held consultations with my client and he has graciously allowed me to pull out of the case and I want to ask the court\’s permission to pull out," he told the court.

 "In the event for any reason the nomination fails to go through, I will come back and represent my client".

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