KANU Secretary General Nick Salat (left) and lawyer Valentine Ataka leaves Milimani law courts after the high court ordered the release of a former cabinet minister John Cheruiyot from prison where he is serving a six month civil jail for failing to pay a debt of ksh 2.3 million on Thursday September 10,2015..
BY SAM ALFAN.
High court has ordered former co-operative minister John Cheruiyot to deposit Sh 500,000 bond to secure his release from prison and be able to pursue the appeal against the sentence of failing to pay a debt of Sh 2.3 million.
Justice Roselyn Aburili gave the tough conditions which include placing a similar surety.
The judge said upon release he should deposit a bond of Sh 3 million in court.
Justice Aburili further said that appeal before the appellate court should be prosecuted within twelve months.
The court was persuaded by Cheruiyot’s lawyer Mr Valentine Ataka, that the family has made an offer of Sh 1 million as part the settlement of the debt owed a businessman Anthony Lang’o Odhiambo.
The politician was arrested August 22 following the execution of a warrant issued against him on January 6 requiring him to honor a decree in favor of the businessman who had printed and delivered 50,000 Kanu paper caps to Cheruiyot in November 1994.
An interlocutory judgment had been slapped against Cheruiyot on January 26, 1998 for failure to enter appearance and defence in the civil suit filed by Lang’o in 1997.
The businessman had explained how Cheruiyot had ordered the paper caps on June 16, 1994 at a cost of Sh12/50 each and paid him with a personal cheque of Sh60, 000.
Cheruiyot had reportedly issued a cheque for Sh10, 000 but it bounced and the balance of Sh565, 000 was never settled. The outstanding debt had accrued Sh1, 660,264 in interest.
The aggrieved businessman had initially sued Cheruiyot alongside former Kanu Chairman, Wilson Ndolo Ayah, former Secretary General, the late Joseph Kamotho and the treasurer, Japheth Lijoodi, but trio were removed from the proceedings by the court.
Nairobi Senior Principal Magistrate, Martha Mutuku while passing the sentence, dismissed an assertion by Cheruiyot that he had suffered a series of misfortunes and could not make good his promises to settle his indebtedness.
“It is not enough for him to state that he is ready and willing to pay the debt without any offer. The plaintiff is also entitled to enjoy the fruits of his judgment,” she pointed out.
The magistrate observed that Cheruiyot had promised to pay on December 15, 2012 but did not fulfill his obligation.
“Cheruiyot has not shown any commitment at all to honor the debt despite the numerous times he has been accommodated by the court. I hereby order that he be committed to civil jail for a period of six months,” Mutuku said in her ruling.