By DAPHNE WANI
WESTERN Governor Ati Wobiro and two others have been jailed for 10 years for misappropriating more than K7 million of public funds.
Justice Martin Ipang, when handing down sentences for Wobiro, former Western provincial administrator Dr Mudowa Gumoi and Fly Care Foundation founder Norman Carl May, said it was the educated elites who abused and corrupted the system.
Ipang said their intent was illegal and they would suffer public disgrace and lose their job.
“People or persons with these positions must be groomed in the proper processes and procedures of spending government money intended for goods and services,” Ipang said.
Ipang ordered that the 10-year terms would be served concurrently for the charges of misappropriation and conspiracy to defraud.
Defence lawyer Goiya Gileng from Posman Kua Asi Lawyers later filed an application for bail in the Supreme Court.
Ipang sentenced Wobiro, Gumoi and May to 25 years for the misappropriation of K7,060,000 in public funds.
He deducted 15 years from the misappropriation charge because the three did not personally benefit from the money and that K373,071.68 had been paid into the National Courts Trust Account as restitution.
The three were sentenced to four years for conspiring to defraud the State of K7,060,000.
They will serve 10 years for both charges.
The court ordered their bail money of K10,000 be refunded.
The three were found guilty on July 26 for conspiring to establish the Fly Care Foundation between Jan 1 and Dec 30, 2013, by using the money belonging to the provincial government.
They conspired to misappropriate funds through a memorandum of agreement between Wobiro and May for the foundation to deliver projects in the province.
On July 26, Ipang said there was overwhelming evidence that Wobiro paid K350,000 to the New Century Hotel as a cover-up for informal sector projects, when it was actually intended for his electoral officials who led his campaign in the 2012 general election.
It was also found that he paid out money to church projects in the province without following proper processes.
No acquittals were done on the funds given out.
By DAPHNE WANI