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Maribe finally out of prison after meeting bond terms in murder case

Maribe had been in prison for a month.

NAIROBI, Kenya, Nov 1 – Broadcast journalist Jacque Maribe was Wednesday evening released from a month-long incarceration following her successful bail application on Tuesday.

Maribe, who is on trial for murder was forced to return to Lang’ata Women Maximum Security Prison Tuesday evening after her lawyers encountered difficulties processing her bail.

She had been granted a Sh2 million surety bond with an alternative of a Sh1 million tripartite surety cash bail by Justice James Wakiaga, who declined to free her former fiancé Joseph Irungu alias Jowie, whom he described as a “woman eater” when reading out a probation report on him, concluding “he is a male version of a slay queen.”

Jacque walked out of the prison gates shortly after 6 pm on Wednesday, according to his closest friend Dennis Itumbi, a former State House Digital Strategist, who lately works at the Deputy President William Ruto’s office.

“Jacque Maribe, has just driven out the gates of Langata Women’s Prison. Home, sweet home. Thanks for maombi (prayers),” Itumbi, who has remained a permanent feature on Maribe’s side throughout her court case, tweeted.

Long before Maribe’s association with Jowie, Itumbi was rumoured to have an affair with her and even delivered a birthday cake to her in Citizen TV studios as she read news in 2015.

He had been ranting on social media for the better part of Tuesday and Wednesday on difficulties encountered in processing the bond terms.

“We completed the bond process for our friend Jacque Maribe at noon and till now no progress and she is looking at another night in prison,” he wrote, attracting the wrath of a senior prosecutor Duncan Ondimu, who reminded him of legal procedures that must be adhered to.

In long threads that dominated Itumbi’s Twitter handle late Wednesday, Ondimu sought to answer to every concern raised about the purported delay in getting Maribe out.

“There is a clear procedure once a Court has issued a release order. Verification of documentation is mandatory,” he replied, “Prosecutors assigned to High Court do not just sit and wait for litigants especially if a matter is not on the Cause List,” Ondimu tweeted, and warned Itumbi against dragging the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions into the matter, as having intervened to resolve the issue, saying Noordin Haji’s office does not interfere with issues at the Judiciary’s jurisdiction.

“I don’t think you spoke to DPP about approval of surety documents or release of your friend. So creating an impression that there was exertion of influence is not correct,” the prosecutor warned.

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Itumbi appeared to fault the High Court Deputy Registrar for “declining to sign the letter committing documents to land registry and registrar of persons on Tuesday.”

According to Itumbi, the prosecution counsel in the case had also declined to “appear on record” further frustrating efforts to secure Maribe’s release.

“The comments to this post are perfect feedback for the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions, the High Court and government generally. Chief Justice David Maraga (whose office was reachable throughout) and Parliamentary Committee on Justice,” he later tweeted after Maribe’s release.

Alongside Jowie, the Citizen Television journalist is accused of murdering businesswoman Monica Kimani in September, but they have both denied the charges, in a case now set for hearing in June next year.

While releasing her on bail, Justice Wakiaga warned that she should not read news, even though her employer had filed a supporting document in her bail application, to assure that Maribe’s co-accused, Irungu, was however denied bail after the court ruled that he was likely to abscond future summonses due to lack of a known physical address.

“The picture that emerges from the Prosecution’s evidence and the pre-bail report of the first accused (Irungu) is that he is a male version of a slay queen which for lack of better terminology I will call a woman eater,” Justice Wakiaga said.

The judge described Jowie as a “Woman Eater” in what has sparked mixed reactions from lawyers who accused him of appearing to convict him even the before the trial starts.

“He was living in the house of the second accused (Maribe), driving her car with no known source of income since 2017 when he provided security to some Jubilee Party politicians,” the judge went on to explain.

Maribe’s house remains a crime scene and her vehicle, which police said was used by Jowie on the day the murder occurred, is still detained by police.

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