Kitui senior government officials who were arrested by EACC Detectives and taken to Machakos Anti-Corruption court did not take plea at machakos.
The trio appeared before Machakos Chief Magistrate Alfred Kibiru, but their lawyer Morris Kimuli objected to plea on grounds that the Machakos court lacked the requisite territorial jurisdiction to handle the matter.
A combined team of lawyers from the Director of Public Prosecutions and the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission put up a spirited fight to maintain the trial in Machakos, arguing that the officers were likely to interfere with investigations if charged in Kitui.
In a vociferous rejoinder, however, the defence team, which included Ms Joan Mati, re-presenting former CO Shadrack Munyithya, easily ran roughshod on the arguments by the prosecution team.
Mr Munyithya and Mr Munyaka were charged in absentia, but Mr Kimuli argued that the court could not issue warrants of arrest against the two because they were not aware that they were required in court. He told the court that they should be summoned, and not arrested, if required to appear in court or before the EACC.
In the end, the court ruled that the three had to be tried in Kitui where the offences were alleged to have occured.
It will be remembered the crime are said to have been committed between 2015-2016 FYI.
The three Jeremiah Nguli kisilu-chairman of then tender committee, Rodgers Makau Sande – secretary of then Tender Evaluation Committee and June Mawiya Munyao-Ag Cheif Officer Finance, appearing before kitui chief magistrate Stephen Mbungi pleaded not guilty.
“All were released on bond, Kisilu -5 million with surety of similar amount or 1.5 million cash bail, Rodgers Makau 2 million with surety of same amount or 1 million cash bail and June Mawiya 2 million with surety of similar amount or 1 million cash bail.
The case will be mentioned on 22nd January when the court will give further directions on the trial.