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Kiambu Court Released Suspect in church Fraud case

A man who forfeited Sh100,000 to the government when he absconded court and was later arrested in Nyeri County has now been released on a Sh5 million bond by a Kiambu court.

Samuel Kiambati Githaiga is facing three counts of obtaining Sh29, 901,999 shillings from Redeemed Church Accounts by falsely pretending the money would be used to aid a Gold Investment project to support the church.

The accused forfeited the police cash bail after failing severally to respond to calls from the police officer who was investigating his case.

He was arraigned before Kiambu Chief Magistrate Ms. Patriciah Gichohi and pleaded not guilty.

He was charged that on diverse dates between 11th, January 2016 and 2nd, October 2019 at an unknown place within the Republic of Kenya, jointly with others not before the court, with intent to defraud, he obtained Sh13, 140,000.00 from Arthur Kitonga Kiseve via his Equity Bank Acct Number 0089191826770 domiciled at Nyeri branch, by falsely pretending that the money was to be used in aid of a Gold Investment project to support Redeemed Gospel Churches, a fact he knew to be false.

In Count 2, he was charged with obtaining 3,800,000.00 from Arthur Kitonga Kiseve through M-pesa Number 072315530000 to his M-pesa 0722877423 by falsely pretending that the money would go towards the Gold Investment project to assist the Church. Count 3 stated that he obtained Sh12, 961,990.00 from Arthur Kitonga Kiseve through Mpesa Number 0721427027 to his M-pesa 0722877423 for the Gold Investment project.

During a virtual proceeding his defense counsel Musembi Newton pleaded with the court to release his client as it was his constitutional right.

He explained that the accused had lost touch with the investigating officer following the recent lockdown of five counties including Kiambu and Nairobi due to Covid-19.

He further told the court that the accused was sickly and still fellowshipped in the same Church and that he was in the process of negotiating with the complainant with a view of settling the matter out of court.

However, the prosecution opposed the defense’s sentiments saying the accused was a flight risk and that if the court was going to release him on bond, the terms should be in tandem with the money in question.

Saying she had considered the sentiments from the defense and the prosecution, the magistrate ruled that Kiambati be released on a bond of Sh5 million and a surety of a similar amount or deposit Sh2 million cash bail pending the hearing of the hearing.

The case will be heard on July 22 with a mention on 8th June. The prosecution was instructed to serve the defense with documents to enable them prepare for the hearing. The prosecution has lined up four witnesses to prove their case.

By Lydia Shiloya

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