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Ojaamong’ ministers in graft case fight to retain offices

Three Busia county government officials facing corruption charges alongside Governor Sospeter Ojaamong are fighting their “imminent” suspension.

In the case filed at the Employment and Labour Relations Court in Nairobi, the three argue that the law that provides their suspension is discriminatory.

THE LAW

Mr Alan Ekweny Omachari, Mr Samuel Ombui and Mr Bernard Yaite want their imminent suspension stopped, pending the determination of the case.

Through lawyer Danstan Omari, they claim Busia County Service Board is about to suspend them as per section 62 Anti-Corruption and Economic Crimes Act, which provides the suspension of any officer facing a criminal charge, until the case is determined.

But the officials argue that the law is discriminatory because Mr Ojaamong’, who is facing similar charges, is and will still be in office.

On Tuesday, the officials told Justice Byram Ongaya that they stand to suffer losses if they do not get the anticipatory orders.

Mr Omari said the Act should be declared unconstitutional, offensive and discriminatory.

“Both the governor and petitioners are employees of the people of Busia County who should be treated equally without discrimination under the Act,” he said.

The judge directed the lawyer to serve the attorney-general, the county government of Busia and the board ahead of the hearing on July 12.

SH1M BAIL

Mr Ojaamong’ and four officials denied charges of conspiring to commit an economic crime, abuse of office and engaging in a project without proper planning.

The fourth official is Mr Leonard Wanda, an executive committee member.

They were freed on cash bail of Sh1 million each.

The court heard that the Busia governor and the officials engaged a company known as Madam R Enterprise to conduct a feasibility study on waste management, yet it had not been budgeted for it.

In the process, the court heard, the county government lost Sh8 million.

They allegedly committed the offences between March 15 and September 25, 2014.

The pre-trial conference will be held on July 24.

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