Police reservist Sakaria Kuutondokwa Kokule is continuing his fight to be released on bail before his trial on corruption and attempting to defeat the course of justice charges in the Windhoek Magistrate’s Court.
The State alleges that Kokule and Jason Iyambo tried to bribe an Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) officer, Junias Ipinge, with N$250 000 to steal bank cards belonging to Fishrot accused James Hatuikulipi and Pius Mwatelulo. Iyambo was already sentenced to nine months imprisonment on a charge of attempting to defeat the course of justice.
It is alleged that Iyambo and Kokule worked in cahoots to attain two Investec banking cards issued to Hatuikulipi, who is in police custody. The two men also wanted one Bank Windhoek card for Omvindi Investment CC, issued to Mwatelulo. In addition, the men required another Bank Windhoek card issued to Mwatelulo for Otuafika Logistics as well as a document titled ‘Total Allocation’ from the Anti-Corruption Commission of Namibia (ACC).
Kokule last week denied all the allegations against him during his ongoing bail application before magistrate Linus Samunzala.
He claims to have been in Kamanjab when the bribery took place and Iyambo was arrested.
According to him, he was only responsible for introducing Iyambo and the ACC agent, and had no part in the discussions. He said during December 2019 while he was in the north, he received a message from Iyambo that he was looking for an ACC agent. As he personally knows Ipinge, he arranged a meeting between them. He vehemently denied any knowledge of a bribe.
When he heard of the arrest of Iyambo on 20 January 2020, Kokule said, he immediately contacted Ipinge, who told him to come to the ACC offices the next day. He went there with his legal representative, he said, adding that the ACC wanted to know about his involvement in the matter.
“I told them just what I told the court,” he stated.
He added that they wanted him to depose a statement, and he agreed with advice from his lawyer as the ACC investigator told him he was not a suspect but a possible State witness. However, on 23 January 2020, he received a call from the ACC, ordering him to be at their offices the next day. When he went there, he was arrested on the spot. Kokule said he was not informed about the reason for his arrest.
The main trial in which he is accused with Hatuikulipi is scheduled to start on 17 May 2022. They will be tried on charges of corruptly giving gratification as an inducement, bribery or alternatively improperly influencing an authorised office,r and defeating or obstructing the course of justice.
The charges they are facing derive from them allegedly attempting to tamper with ongoing investigations into the multi-million-dollar Fishrot bribery case.
The matter continues and Kokule, who is represented by Jermaine Muchali, remains in custody.
The State is represented by Ian Malumani.