Kenyan lawyer dissatisfied with freezing of bank account of South Sudanese minister Dr Lomuro: The Weekly Review

Published on 3rd July 2021. YouTube Link:

In this episode, Roger Alfred Yoron Modi hosted Shadrack Wambui, a famous Kenyan lawyer and an advocate of the High Court of Kenya.

The program discussed several issues about corruption and the recent order by the High Court of Kenya freezing the bank account of South Sudanese minister of Cabinet Affairs Dr Martin Elia Lomuro, following a case filed by the Asset Recovery Agency ARA. The account reportedly contained Sh13.42 million ( about $124,374.)

While the ARA said Lomuro’s account made several suspicious transactions pointing to money laundering, the minister, on his side, termed the freezing of his account “a political witch-hunt,” adding that he was not provided an opportunity to defend himself.

Excerpts from what counsel Wambui, who’s not a lawyer to any party in the proceeding, said on the program:

“To the extent that they have not sought an explanation from him(minister Lomuro), the proceedings have been done in a very surreptitious manner, very secretive manner, which runs contrary to the Kenyan Constitution. That act of freezing of the Account of the minister Dr Elia Lomuro must be called to question, that action must be invalidated by the Court of law.

“People will not be condemned or convicted and sentenced for having involved themselves in corruption if there is no sufficient evidence, if the due process is not followed. If these agencies defy what the law has provided as procedures and processes, then they cannot expect rightfully so for Courts to convict people they have brought to Court. The procedure is as important as the sustenance of the law.”

Wambui added the following regarding fighting corruption in Kenya:

“We are facing a lot of challenges. We are facing the challenge of our President disrespecting Court orders. Our President has not been very faithful in discharging his roles and responsibilities as were given to him by the Constitution. Be that as it may, he’s the first person to call to question acts of Corruption. It is also corrupt, morally corrupt for the President not to abide by the same law that swore him to power.

“It is entirely wrong and unconstitutional to have a society where people choose the orders that they want to respect.

“We are not operating by the rule of man. We are not operating under the rule of the President Mr. Kenyatta. We are operating under the rule of law. What has the law said in terms of the production, the introduction of evidence in Court. If you don’t follow that as an agency, regardless of how bad someone has been painted as being corrupt, the Court will never convict such a person. He will walk scot-free He will enjoy those proceeds of crime if the agencies do not do what is right in law. And as we have seen (regarding) the minister Dr Elia Lomuro, his Constitutional rights as a person have been offended. His personal rights: the rights to privacy, the rights to property, his rights to fair administrative action, his rights as an accused person to a fair trial, to be given an opportunity to be heard have not been observed.”

“So, regardless of whether he has stolen that money or the money is a proceed of crime, it is a non-issue. The process must justify the end. The means must justify the end. That is the point the citizens of South Sudan and the Citizens of Kenya and indeed the viewers who are watching across the world to take home.”