Kinyuru Munuhe, James Momanyi and Clement Kamau @PeopleDailyKe
Twelve out of 27 suspects wanted over the Sh468 million National Youth Service (NYS) scam who failed to appear in court on Monday surrendered last evening at the Directorate of Criminal Investigations before a court deadline elapsed.
By yesterday at 7pm, the suspects had recorded statements and also undergone pre-charge processing that includes finger print taking.
The 12 are part of a group of 54, including Youth PS Lillian Mbogo-Omollo and NYS director general Richard Ndubai who were charged in court on Tuesday. They include 40 public servants and 14 business operators.
DCI George Kinoti confirmed the arrest of the 12 and warned the 15 still at large their days are numbered. “We have formed a special unit to track and arrest all the suspects named in the scandal and we are urging them to surrender because we will find and arrest them wherever they are,” said Kinoti. He said the special squad started looking for them Thursday evening.
The suspects had until yesterday 2pm to present themselves at DCI. Some of them surrendered in the company of their lawyers who were, however, turned away. The suspects were locked up at the Muthaiga and Gigiri police stations.
The directive to surrender was issued by a court after Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions applied for warrants of arrest for the suspects who did not turn up in court to plead to the corruption charges.
Earlier yesterday, the government engaged forensic auditors to scrutinise books of the account at NYS.
Sources said the team of auditors was from Ernst & Young and it is supposed to file a report in a month’s time recommending the required interventions.
The auditors reported at the service on Tuesday and has been going through all the accounts books.
At the same time, as the investigations into the corruption at the NYS continued, focus has now turned to the errors of omission by the Central Bank of Kenya (CBK), and commercial banks that allowed the government officials and businessmen to loot billions from government coffers.
Ordinarily, payment for any services rendered to any government entity are made by the CBK after the entity’s AIE officer (for ministries it is the Principal Secretary) has verified and submitted an invoice.
CBK then sends the money to the supplier’s account in a bank through the Integrated Financial Management Information System (IFMIS).
The IFMIS is an automated system created in 2015 to enhance efficiency in planning, budgeting, procurement, expenditure management and reporting in national and county governments.
One of the ways the suspects in the NYS loot used to access the money is to generate fake invoices, which were then paid by CBK. The planners of the scam used a valid contract number and then opened an account for the shell companies in the IFMIS. This is possibly where the Treasury failed to ensure that the companies entered in the IFMIS do not exist.
Meanwhile, as the war against corruption gains momentum, fresh focus is now on tendering process at the Kenya Power (KP).
The Federation of Kenya Registered Electrical Contractors yesterday called for investigations on KP employees implicated in corruption and fraudulent practices.
Reacting to what they said was irregular and corrupt tendering, the federation singled out Kenya Power tender No.KP1/9A.2/OT/12/CS/17-18 Prequalification Tender for Labour and Transport Meters Services which they alleged was marred with corruption.
They asked Kinoti to order a forensic audit of all electrical certificates submitted by all the contacts in the prequalification of contractors.
Addressing the media in Kiambu yesterday the electricians alleged a number of KP employees are directors or owners of some of the pre-qualified companies.
Federation director in charge of compliance and enforcement Peter Murage said it was against the public procurement and disposal Act 2015 for KP employees to do business with the company because it brought conflict of interest.