Wobiro's fate to be known today

The fate of imprisoned Western Governor Ati Wobiro will be made known today by the Supreme Court as to whether he can contest the upcoming elections or continue serving his jail term.

He has been serving a 10 year sentence since 18 November 2016.

A three-man Supreme Court bench consisting of Justice Panuel Mogish, Justice George Manuhu and Justice Stephen Kassman will give their ruling at 10:30am on the appeals against conviction and sentencing, which Wobiro and two others filed.

On 23 March, Wobiro, Dr Madowa Gumoi and Norman Carl May asked the Supreme Court, through their lawyers by way of appeal, to quash their conviction and sentencing, saying it was flawed and unsound.

Lawyer Greg Egan, who assisted lawyers from the Posman Kua Aisi Law firm, told the court that the trial judge did not consider all the evidence that was put before the court during the trial.

The appeal was on grounds that they were found guilty of misappropriating K350,000 and an additional K24,000, and not K7,060,000 – which is the amount to which they were sentenced to 10 years in jail for.

The three were convicted on 26 July 2016 by Justice Martin Ipang for conspiring to defraud the State and misappropriating monies amounting to K7 million.

Prior to their sentence, they repaid K373, 971.68. Receipt of the restituted amount was provided to court just before the National Court sentenced them to 10 years in jail on 18 Nov 2016.

The three were found guilty on 26 July, 2016, for conspiring to establish the Fly Care Foundation between January 1 and December 30, 2013, by using over K7m funding from the provincial government.

They conspired to misappropriate funds through a memorandum of agreement between Governor Wobiro and May, for the Foundation to deliver projects in the province.

Justice Ipang, in his ruling, also said there was overwhelming evidence that Wobiro paid K350,000 to New Century hotel as  a cover up for informal sector projects, when it was actually intended for his electoral officials who led his campaign in the 2012 General Elections.

It was also found that he paid out monies for various church projects in the province without following proper processes. No acquittals were done on the funds given out.


(Loop file picture of Wobiro and Dr Gumoi outside the Court precinct) 

Sally Pokiton