Embattled former Sports CS Rashid Echesa wants the DCI to release his Range Rover and two guns confiscated over the fake Sh40 billion military firearms tender.
Echesa was arrested on February 13 and charged with several counts of fraud. His co-accused were Daniele Otieno, Clifford Onyango, Kennedy Mboya and Chrispin Oduor. They were granted Sh1 million bail each. Oduor was charged separately. The former CS was freed on February 17.
In a certificate of urgency, Echesa, through lawyer Brian Khaemba, sought court orders compelling the officers to return the car, firearms and 104 bullets.
“Pending hearing and determination of the case, the court be pleased to issue an order directing the DCI to release his firearms, a P-Barreta FO 92 with serial number A022182Z and Ceska CZ with serial number 0641872, together with 9mm 104 calibre ammunition, 1 Ceska Magazine and three pistol hoisters to him,” the application read.
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It added that the Range Rover KCR 786H is Echesa’s only vehicle. On Monday, DCI officers raided Echesa’s Nairobi home following a search warrant granted by a court in relation to another case in which he is accused of illegally transferring the ownership of vehicles belonging to his late friend. They seized five cars.
Khaemba argued that from the particulars of the tender case charges, there is no indication that the vehicle or the firearms were used to commit the alleged crime.
Echesa said confiscation of his guns has greatly subjected him to serious security risks and challenges, given his position as the immediate former Cabinet Secretary for Culture and Sports.
The prosecution told senior principal magistrate Kennedy Cheruiyot that they needed time to file responses to the application. However, lawyer Cliff Ombeta opposed the move and urged the court to direct the prosecution to respond by Tuesday afternoon since the application was served to them days ago.
Cheruiyot certified the application by Echesa as urgent and gave the prosecution seven days to respond. The application will be heard on March 11.
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Meanwhile, the prosecution consolidated Echesa and his co-accused’s file with that of Oduor. The charge sheet was amended to include Odour’s charges and all the five pleaded afresh, but particulars of the offences did not change.
The court heard that the other four accused persons, besides Echesa, have not secured bail for their release. They asked the court to review their bail terms to a level they can afford. The magistrate said he will deliver his bail ruling on Wednesday morning.