The State yesterday withdrew graft charges against 11 suspects in the NYS II case for lack of evidence. Director of Public Prosecutions, through State counsel Vera Hamisi, urged Anti-Corruption Principal Magistrate Peter Ooko to withdraw charges against the 11, saying they did not play any role in the loss of Sh60.5 million from the service.
Charges against former NYS deputy director general Sammy Michuki, Rodgers Nzioka, Simon Kanyi, Steven Riungu, Josephat Njoroge, Lucas Otieno, Timothy Kiplagat, Charles Makau, Jackson Matego Juma, Humphrey Odhiambo and Bernard Masika were withdrawn under Section 87 (A) of the Criminal Procedure Code (CPC).
This means if police find further evidence, they can re-arrest and charge the suspects afresh. The withdrawn charges are in respect of three out of 10 cases filed in court in May 2018.
“All of the 11 accused people are hereby discharged under Section under 87 (a) of the CPC and the deposited cash bail and surety to be refunded,” ruled the magistrate. This is the third time the DPP is withdrawing charges against suspects linked to the loss of Sh468 million at NYS.
At the same time former Youth and Gender Affairs Principal Secretary Lillian Omollo, former NYS director general Richard Ndubai, three companies and 28 others yesterday faced 49 fresh charges related to economic crimes.
Omollo, Ndubai and several former public officials are accused of conspiring to commit an economic crime by allowing the payment of Sh60,598,800 to three companies, including Arkroad holding limited, Ersatz Enterprises and Kalabash Road supplies.
They are alleged to have committed the offences on diverse dates between April 6, 2016, and May 13, 2017.
The 49 fresh charges ranged from conspiracy to commit an economic crime, abuse of office, willful failure to comply with procurement rules, neglect of official duty, fraudulent payments to companies that did not supply goods, making false documents and breach of public trust.
Among those charged include senior, middle and lower cadre government officials and business entities that played a key role in stealing from NYS.
The former PS alone faced six counts of abuse of office charges and willful failure to comply with procedures relating to the management of public funds.
Omollo and Ndubai have two other cases pending before different courts relating to payment of Sh167, 715, 700 to three firms and Sh226.9 million to companies related to Ngirita’s family.
Omollo and Ndubai were charged alongside Sammy Mbugua, Michael Wesley, Evans Isaac Wafula, Peter Muvuti, Humphery Wainaina Mbogo, Clement Karoki, Peter Muthomi, George Otieno, Peter Mahugu, Sophy Karimi among others. The accused persons will remain on their earlier bond terms of Sh 5 million each.
The case was scheduled for a hearing yesterday but was adjourned to this morning as two of their co-accused persons were absent. Ooko, however, issued summons against Steve Macharia Kinene and Samuel Otieno to appear in court.
Defence lawyer Danstan Omari, while addressing journalists outside Milimani Law Courts, accused the DPP of not being serious. The lawyer said the continuous withdrawal of the charges by the DPP and filing of amended charges were a miscarriage of justice.