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Saturday, May 25, 2024

Blogger in Court for Extorting Kes.80,000 to Remove Kilifi Fraud Dossier from Website

On Monday, a Shanzu court charged a blogger with obtaining money to pull down an article alleging that two individuals defrauded Kilifi Governor Gideon Munga’ro of Kes.150 million.

According to the investigation, Stephen Sanga Barrawah, 32, approached Francis Ngala Karabu, the complainant, posing as a local journalist with a dossier alleging that Karabu conspired with Loise Makena to defraud the Kilifi county government of the amount through garbage collection.

The accused then allegedly demanded Kes. 150,000 from Karabu, threatening to publish the alleged dossier if not paid. However, they later negotiated via video conference and settled on Kes. 80,000.

The funds were transferred to the accused’s Mpesa account in two installments of Kes.60,000 and Kes.20,000, respectively.

Investigations also established that the suspect allegedly demanded an additional Kes.60,000 from Karabu by claiming to have the ability to remove a publication from the social media platform “Newsline” that mentioned the complainant.

The prosecution sought orders to amend the charge sheet to include a similar charge of obtaining money by pretense, which the court granted.

Before Senior Resident Magistrate Robert Mbogo, the blogger pleaded not guilty to the charges and was released on a Kes. 100,000 bond with a surety of the same amount. Alternatively, he could pay a cash bail of Kes.20,000.

The court directed that the amended charge sheet be presented in court on May 5, 2024, when the case will be heard.

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