Court defers taking of plea by IEBC official accused of wrong entry of presidential results

A Murang’a court on Wednesday deferred taking of a plea by an IEBC presiding officer from Kandara charged with wrongful entry of presidential results in the recently concluded polls.

State Counsel Leonard Njeru told the court to defer a case facing John Kiragu until investigations of another felony committed by Kandara MP Alice Wahome was completed.

The accused, who presided over elections at Kiiru polling station in Kandara, was expected to take a plea on Wednesday over charges of entering presidential results wrongly.

Njeru, appearing before Principal Magistrate Mr. Antony Mwicigi, said the prosecution wants investigations on the case of Kiragu merged with that of the MP who is accused of assaulting Kandara Returning Officer Mr. Martin Malonza.

He said the investigations on Wahome as ordered by Director of Public prosecutions (DPP) would be completed within a period of one week.

The County CID boss Julius Rutere has since confirmed that detectives were analyzing witness statements before the files were forwarded to DPP for further directives, the State Counsel further told the court.

He added that he had received instructions that both files be placed before DPP for further directions.

I have received instructions to defer the plea for a month. The DPP has conceded to bond the accused person until plea is taken, said Njeru.

Kiragu was arrested on Monday following wrong entry of Presidential election results where 440 votes meant for President Uhuru Kenyatta were given to Independent Presidential candidate Japheth Kavinga Kaluyu.

His case was transferred to Murang’a court since Kandara court is not gazetted to handle election petitions.

The presiding officer did not object the application by the prosecution to defer the plea, but pleaded with the court to grant him a free bond saying that he was a casual worker at Kenol market and would avail himself for any investigations if required.

I apply to be given a free bond as I had been cooperative during the investigations and will avail myself any time need, he said.

The court granted him a Sh500, 000 free bond with a surety of a similar amount until December 5 when the case would be mentioned.

Source: Kenya News Agency