Bernice Mbugua @BerniceMuhindi
Former Devolution Principal secretary Peter Mangiti and 23 others accused of conspiracy to steal Sh47.6 million from National Youth Service (NYS) were on Friday acquitted by a Nairobi court.
Mangiti and 23 other suspects were let off the hook after trial magistrate Lawrence Mugambi of the Anti-corruption Court ruled that the prosecution failed prove their case beyond reasonable doubt.
According to the Senior principal magistrate, the 24 accused persons did not have a case to answer as there was no evidence that they had a meeting and agreed to commit the said offence. “For a conspiracy charge to stand, the prosecution needs to prove that the accused persons had a meeting and plotted an idea,” he said.
Mugambi said the prosecution witnesses, who testified in the case, exonerated the suspects instead of implicating them. One of the accused persons Selesio Karanja was, however, not so lucky as the court found he had a case to answer.
The court ruled that the evidence adduced in court so far has established a prima facie case against him over fraudulent procurement. According to the charge sheet, Karanja is accused that on January 29, 2015 at NYS headquarters in Nairobi, as supply chain assistant NYS, he engaged in a fraudulent act in procurement by inserting the name of Dama Services Limited on the tender opening register for the procurement of training materials in the automotive engineering faculty.
Mangiti is, however, not off the hook in the Sh791 million NYS case where he is charged alongside former National Youth Service director general Nelson Githinji, businessman Ben Gethi, Josephine Kabura and 22 others.