Lugari MP Ayub Savula, former Broadcasting and Telecommunications Permanent secretary Sammy Itemere and former Government Advertising Agency (GAA) boss Dennis Chebitwey were yesterday charged with conspiracy to steal more than Sh122 million.
The three were among the 15 people and seven companies implicated in the Sh2.5 billion scandal at the agency.
Appearing before Milimani chief magistrate Francis Andayi, the accused denied charges of conspiring to commit a felony of stealing, abuse of office, aiding the commission of a felony, making a document without authority, obtaining money by false pretences and attempting to obtain money by false pretences.
Others charged were MP Savula’s two wives— Melody Gatwiri and Hellen Kemboi. They were all released on varied bond terms. Savula and his wives were freed on a Sh1 million bond or a cash bail of Sh500,000 each.
The MP took plea on his behalf as well as the seven companies, hence is required to pay an additional Sh500,000 for each of the said companies.
The MP and his two wives are charged that on January 10 last year at unknown place with intent to defraud, jointly with others not before court without lawful authority made certain false document namely Ministry of Health requisition letter purporting it to have been issued and signed by Judith Sirima of Ministry of Health.
The former PS and the 14 other co-accused were released on a bond of Sh2 million or a cash bail of Sh1 million each since they face a common charge of aiding a commission of a felony which the court noted is a serious offence which attracts a 15-year penalty if found guilty.
They were further ordered to deposit their passports and travelling documents with the court by today. At the same time, the magistrate issued a warrant of arrest against Amos Tayari, Susan Akinyi, Gladys Isaka and Tabitha Nyaboke who were not in court for plea taking.
The arrest order was issued against them after the Director of Public Prosecutions, through James Warui, urged the court to issue it because the suspects have gone into hiding and switched off their phones.
Warui had urged the court to consider the gravity of the offence against the accused persons while granting bail terms.
But the accused, through their lawyers led by Phillip Nyachoti, asked the court to release them on reasonable bail terms, arguing they are not a flight risk.
Andayi also ordered that Agren Ateka, Sammy Makau, Martin Njoroge, Edmund Munene and Joseph Kamau present themselves before the investigating officer in the matter on Tuesday at 7am for processing.
The case will be mentioned on November 11 and pre-trial will be on December 6.