Politician Seth Okute, co-accused acquitted in Sh 12M gold fraud case

Politician Seth Steve Okute and Bruno Otieno Olienda in court during the withdrawal of gold fraud charges against them. PHOTO/Suek

ODM Politician Seth Steve Okute and his co-accused Bruno Otieno Olienda have been acquitted in Sh 12.7 million gold scam.

Trial Magistrate Susan Shitubi allowed an application by the prosecution to withdraw the charges against the two under section 87(a) after they failed to avail the complainant to testify.

The complainant, Marjorie Grant, a US citizen has failed to appear in court on several occasions to testify in the matter.

The magistrate ruled that the prosecution has a right to withdraw the case at any stage before judgement.

“I therefore, allow the prosecution application to withdraw the charges under section 87(a),” the magistrate ruled.

Through lawyer Wandugi Kiraithe, Okute had urged the court to acquit him under section 210 and not 87(a) of the Criminal Procedure Code.

Under section 210 of the CPC, an accused person can not be rearrested and charged again with the same offense since the court with have found him with ‘no case to answer ‘.

However, under section 87(a) an accused person can be rearrested and charged again.

According to Wandugi, acquitting his client under section 87 (a) would be prejudicial to him.

He told the court that his client has lost so much since his arrest and prosecution.

Okute and Olienda had accused of obtaining from Marjorie R. Grant USD 100,000 (then equivalent to Sh 12.7 million) by falsely pretending that Newsky’s Global Cargo Movers International Limited were in a position to pay custom duty for 33 kilograms of gold shipped from Burkina Faso to Zurich, a fact they knew to be false.

The two were alleged to have committed the offence on 9th November 2022 at I&M Bank within Nairobi County with intent to defraud.