NHIF, KPC bosses arraigned over graft

More than 20 Kenya Pipeline Company (KPC) and National Hospital Insurance Fund (NHIF) officials were yesterday arraigned in court for varied corruption-related scandals.

Among them were 18 NHIF officials and two Webtribe Ltd directors who appeared before Milimani Anti-Corruption Court where they  pleaded not guilty to several charges related toeconomic crimes. Five KPC officials including former managing director Joe Sang were also charged separately over the Sh1.9 billion Kisumu oil jetty scandal.

They appeared before Chief Magistrate Douglas Ogoti of Milimani Anti-Corruption court who released them on a bond of Sh3 million, alternative cash bail of Sh2 million and Sh2 million personal bond each.

“Since bail is not opposed by the prosecution I order the accused to execute a bond of Sh3 million, alternative cash bail of Sh2 million and Sh2 million personal bond each,” ruled Ogoti.

The magistrate further directed them to deposit their passports with the court.

Sang is charged alongside Gloria Khafafa (company secretary), Vincent Cheruiyot (GM supply chain management), Billy Aseka (GM Infrastructure) and Nicholas Gitobu (procurement manager).

Ogoti ordered KPC general manager for Finance Samuel Odoyo who was not in court yesterday to be arraigned this morning over the same scandal.

They were charged with abuse of office, engaging in a project without prior planning and willful failure to comply with applicable procedures and guidelines relating to the management of public funds.

The five officials were charged that between July 1, 2016 and June 30, 2017 at KPC in Nairobi they engaged in the construction of an “unplanned project” the Kisumu Oil Jetty amounting to over Sh1.9 billion.

Sang alone faced two other counts of abuse of office and willful failure to comply with the procedure relating to management of public funds for unlawfully authorising payment for the Kisumu Oil Jetty.

On NHIF, the court heard that thousands of patients may have lost their lives because of misappropriation of funds amounting to more than Sh 1.1 billion at the Fund  Senior Assistant Director of Public Prosecutions Emily Kamau made the remarks in the case against the 18, where she informed the court that offences before court were very serious  and should be equated to murder considering that a lot of people might have died because of loss of funds at NHIF.

She made the sentiments even though they were not opposing bail against the accused persons. “This offences are enablers of serious offences which led to loss of money meant for the sick.

There are people who have died  because of lack of money. The offences committed are very serious and carry a serious sentences if found guilty,” said Kamau.

The 18 National Hospital Insurance Fund suspects charged over Sh 1.1 billion Scam embattled including suspended CEO Geoffrey Mwangi and former CEO Simeon ole Kirgotty, acting company secretary Ruth Makallah, senior IT official Gilbert Kamau and assistant Finance manager Irene Rono and Legal Affairs manager Pamela Nyaboke.

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