Following the overturning of his acquittal in the Sh39 billion fake arms deal case, the court has granted more time for former Sports Cabinet Secretary Rashid Echesa to appear. Chief Magistrate Onyina directed the defence to present him in court on March 20 for a mention.

The defence, led by Counsel Collins Osewe, representing Echesa’s lawyer, informed the court that the ex-CS is currently bereaved and has traveled to Kakamega. Additionally, the court learned that the third accused person in the case, Clifford Okoth Onyango, is also bereaved and has traveled to Migori.

Osewe expressed that today’s date was set without the defence’s consent, and they had attempted unsuccessfully to persuade the High Court for another date. He also stated that Echesa’s lawyer had not yet discussed with his client how to proceed with the matter, hence the need for more time.

Meanwhile, the other individuals involved in the case, Daniel Otieno Omondi, Kennedy Oyoo Mboya, and Crispin Oduor Odipo, appeared before Chief Magistrate Lucas Onyina. Omondi and Mboya were instructed to deposit their cash bail for their release pending the hearing and determination of the case, while Odipo’s bail was extended.

The state did not oppose the defense’s request for another mention date, affirming its readiness to take directions in the matter. Accordingly, Chief Magistrate Onyina scheduled the next mention for March 20.

Echesa had been acquitted in December 2021, but the Prosecution challenged the decision, leading to the case being taken to the High Court. Senior Principal Magistrate Kenneth Cheruiyot had previously ruled that the prosecution had failed to prove its case against Echesa, resulting in his acquittal.

However, on February 26, High Court Judge Kanyi Kimondo ruled in favor of the Prosecution, ordering Echesa and the other accused persons to appear in court without fail. Judge Kimondo emphasized that the state had presented a compelling case against Echesa, and the trial court should have found him with a case to answer, rather than acquitting him.

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