, NAIROBI, Kenya, Nov 1 – Geothermal Development Company (GDC) Managing Director Silas Simiyu and eight others spent Tuesday night in police cell after they failed to raise cash bails of between Sh5 million and Sh8 million set by the court.
Simiyu’s lawyer Kioko Kilukumi protested that the Sh8 million cash bail set for his release was prohibitive and tantamount to denying his client his constitutional right to freedom.
Chief Magistrate Kennedy Bidali set Simiyu’s cash bail and that of interdicted Company Secretary Praxidis Saisi at Sh8 million.
The magistrate imposed a Sh5 million cash bail for seven of their co-accused who were on the GDC tender committee in 2012.
They have all denied charges of willfully failing to comply with procurement laws in the awarding of a Sh1.7 billion tender for Rig Move services.
The eight were charged with failing to comply with procurement rules.
Nicholas Weke, Abarham Saat, Peter Omenda, Godwin Mwawongo, Caleb Mbaya, Bruno Linyiru and Saisi having been on the GDC tender committee in 2012, are accused of flouting procurement procedure in the awarding of a tender for Rig Move services valued at Sh42,746,000 per rig move totalling Sh1.7 billion to Bonfide Clearing and Forwarding Limited in 2012.
Saisi was also charged with abusing the office of Company Secretary by “improperly conferring a benefit to Bonfide to wit a contract in respect of rig move services at a price that was in excess of prevailing market prices.”
Simiyu was also charged with abuse of office and as accounting officer, for contravening the Public Finance Management Act “by failing to ensure that the resources of the company were used efficiently and economically.”
Kilukumi opposed the terms set, describing them as prohibitive and tantamount to denying the accused bail “as is their constitutional right.”
He had applied to have Simiyu released on a cash bail of Sh100,000 which would have been equal to the amount paid by the accused in a police bond on Monday.
The defence teams argued that by setting such “unprecedented” terms, the court was in essence delivering judgement in a case that was yet to be heard by punishing their clients.
Chief Magistrate Kennedy Bidali was however adamant that the amounts set are in line with Judiciary’s bail and bond guidelines.
He advised the aggrieved parties to make an appeal in the higher courts or renew their application at a later date.
Kilukumi informed the court that they would indeed be taking up the first option saying the bail terms set, “smack of a conspiracy,” against his client and his co-accused.
The defence teams also declined to take up hearing dates until their grievances are heard by the High Court.