A court in Eldoret has released five West Pokot County officials who were last week arrested in relation to the irregular purchase of maize.

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The five were on Monday released on a bond of Sh2 million each with one surety of similar amount or a Cash bail of Sh200,000 each.

The suspects, County Secretary Dr Michael Ptoo Parklea, Procurement Officer Alice Chepkosgei, and other county officials; Titus Mayech, Elvis Rotich, and Joseph Lolemtum were last Tuesday arraigned in court and charged with 18 counts of graft-related charges over the purchase of 5,000 bags of maize.

They are accused of failing to follow laid down procurement procedures in the purchase. They denied all the charges.

While releasing them, Eldoret Chief Magistrate Charles Obulutsa said the prosecution had failed to provide sufficient grounds that would warrant them denied bail.

The prosecution had opposed the application to have the suspects released on bail noting that they might interfere with the ongoing investigations and that their offices were still active crime scenes.

The court however directed that the suspects should not access their officers without permission from the investigating officers.

They were also cautioned against contacting the prosecution witnesses.

The prosecution told the court that they intend to rely on 32 witnesses in the case

Speaking to the press at the court premises, lawyer Joshua Kembero representing the accused parties, said they are happy with the court’s ruling and justice had been served. 

“We are happy with the ruling since the era of the investigating officers claiming that they have to carry out further investigation must come to an end and we are happy that the court has taken the approach by giving the accused person the rights to bond,” said Kembero.

The case will be mentioned on July 30 2019.