The Kenyan Anti-Corruption and Economic Crimes Court (High Court) has cleared Dr Martin Elia Lomuro, the South Sudan Minister of Cabinet Affairs, of money laundering charges brought against him by Kenya’s Asset Recovery Agency (ARA).
In the consent judgement recorded between Hon. Lomuro’s advocates, Kogweno & Bubi Advocates, LLP and the advocate from ARA on 15th September, 2021, Lady Justice C. Githua, noted that, “the Applicant (Asset Recovery Agency) is satisfied with the explanation provided by the Respondent (Martin Elia Lomuro) on the source of the funds.”
The court further rescinded the order of 4th June 2021 that was obtained to freeze the bank accounts of Dr Martin Elia Lomuro and granted him liberty to operate his account at Cooperative Bank of Kenya. The case is now closed.
On 7th July, 2021 Hon. Lomuro, had filed an application to set aside the order that had been obtained by the ARA on 4th June, 2021 freezing his bank account on allegations of money laundering.
“I very much thank the Kenya High Court for its absolute integrity and for upholding high standards of the rule law, justice and equality for all regardless of nationality before the law in Kenya,” Mr Lomuro. “Equally, I appreciate the ARA for acknowledging the authenticity of the sources of my funds and advise that in the future ARA should conform to the country’s legal procedures and diplomatic protocols so as not to victimize people in support of negative policy of external powers with negative political intentions in the region; South Sudan in this case.”
In an extensive affidavit dated 6th July, 2021 Mr Lomuro refuted all allegations of money laundering raised against him by elaborately explaining the source of all his funds in his account as arising from his salary, allowances and emoluments as a Minister and as a Member of Parliament in South Sudan and additionally listed rental income from real estate investments in South Sudan properties, as part of the sources of his funds.
Despite enjoying diplomatic immunity, Mr Lomuro co-operated fully with the ARA and the Anti-Corruption and Economic Crimes Court and demonstrated to ARA that the allegations of money laundering levelled against him were unsubstantiated, malicious and unlawful.
Dr Lomuro has been a key member of President Salva Kiir’s government since August, 2005. He served in three different ministries in the Republic of South Sudan before being appointed as Minister of Cabinet Affairs in July, 2013. He is the longest serving cabinet minister in that docket.
Between 2016 and 2018, Dr Lomuro played a key executive role in the negotiations that led to the achievement of the Revitalized Agreement on the Resolution of the Conflict in the Republic of South Sudan (R-ARCSS) and has been instrumental in the implementation of the peace process working closely with President Salva Kiir to ensure that peace prevails in South Sudan.
Martin Elia Lomuro is currently the lead and focal minister representing the government in meetings of the Revitalized Joint Monitoring and Evaluation Commission (RJMEC), at the Intergovernmental Authority and Development (IGAD); African Union (AU); the United Nations (UN) meetings in Juba and various other expert meetings in South Sudan.