8 years on, Oparanya pleads not guilty to as­sault­ing ri­val’s backer

Over the years, the politi­cian re­peat­edly tried to stop his crim­i­nal pros­e­cu­tion and suc­ceeded in stalling it, but his ap­peals were re­jected

The Star (Kenya) - - Counties - HIL­TON OTENYO AND JOHN NALIANYA @TheS­tarKenya

Eight years since he was ac­cused of as­sault, Kakamega Gov­er­nor Wy­cliffe Oparanya has fi­nally taken a plea. Oparanya yes­ter­day pleaded not guilty be­fore Butere prin­ci­pal mag­is­trate Charles Mu­tayi.

He is ac­cused of as­sault­ing John Waka in 2008. The charge sheet says that on Au­gust 17, 2008, at Mabole, Butere, Oparanya with oth­ers not be­fore the court as­saulted Waka and injured him.

Waka was a sup­porter at the time of Oparanya’s ri­val.

A war­rant of ar­rest that had been is­sued against him was lifted af­ter he re­quested a waiver. He was re­leased on a per­sonal bond of Sh300,000

WAR­RANT OF AR­REST

Oparanya failed to show up in court on Oc­to­ber 10, forc­ing prose­cu­tor Maina Ga­choya to ask for war­rant of ar­rest.

But county at­tor­ney Moses Sande in­formed the court the sum­mons was not served to Oparanya di­rectly.

“The ac­cused would have liked to be in court today, but the sum­mons was served to his sec­re­tary in the evening. The ac­cused had moved out of of­fice be­cause of his busy en­gage­ments and the sum­mons had not reached him by the time he was re­quired to ap­pear be­fore the court,” Sande said.

WILL­ING TO AP­PEAR

The lawyer said Oparanya was will­ing to present him­self be­fore the court any other time he is called upon.

The mag­is­trate ruled that the sum­mons was served within a very short time and ef­fected to a third-party.

“The ac­cused will at­tract a war­rant of ar­rest if he will not present him­self the next time,” Mu­tayi said.

The hear­ing was set for Jan­uary 17.

/ FILE

Kakamega Gov­er­nor Wy­cliffe Oparanya leaves the Mil­i­mani law courts on December 16 last year

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