, NAIROBI, Kenya Jan 24 – Controversial bloggers Cyprian Nyakundi and Emmanuel Nwamweya Ong’era were on Friday charged with an extortion attempt, involving Sh17.5 million from Victoria bank.
They denied the charges and were granted a cash bail Sh300,000 each.
Milimani Senior Principal Magistrate Kenneth Cheruiyot granted them bail after dismissing a request by Yagesh Pattin who had made an application to have Nyakundi remanded pending the hearing of the case.
“Since there are no compelling reasons tabled before this court to deny the accused bail l, therefore, release the two accused persons on bail,” ruled the magistrate.
They were also granted an alternative bond of Sh 1 million each.
Nyakundi and Ongera denied that they received Sh 1 million from Victoria Commercial Bank CEO as down payment of Sh 17.5 million as pre-condition for pulling down several libelous articles they posted in their blog on diverse dates between 10th September 2019 and 15th January 2020.
The two are alleged to have committed the offense on January 25 at Westgate Mall in Nairobi jointly with others who were not produced in court by police.
The bank’s lawyer had objected to the release of the accused on bail on grounds that he is a flight risk.
The court heard that Nyakundi is a “difficult person” to find adding that they have filed a contempt of court application against him in a civil matter.
However, defense lawyers Cliff Ombeta, Dunstan Omari and Jaden Ochiel objected to the application saying that nothing has been produced before court to show that Nyakundi is in contempt.