Hearing of NYS scam II delayed to next week over new charges

Former PS Lilian Omollo (R) and co-accused in a Milimani court on Monday /COLLINS KWEYU
Former PS Lilian Omollo (R) and co-accused in a Milimani court on Monday /COLLINS KWEYU

The trial of NYS scam II suspects starts on Monday next week following changes to the charge sheet.

The prosecution was ready to proceed with the case yesterday. One witness was to testify, but the suspects successfully sought adjournment. Former PS Lillian Omollo

was one of those allowed more time to re-evaluate her defence strategy.

Omollo and her co-accused denied conspiring to defraud the National Youth Service of Sh60.5 million.

Her lawyer, Stephen Ligunya, told magistrate Peter Ooko that his client

needed more time to prepare.

“The amended charge sheet introduces new particulars. It has changed the timelines of the alleged offences. We seek three days to seek instructions,” Ligunya said.

Former NYS director general Richard Ndubai also sought more time. According to the new charge sheet, Ndubai used his office to improperly confer a benefit to Kalabash Food Supplies by unlawfully authorising payment of Sh9 million.

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He allegedly committed the offence between September 20, 2016, and October 17 the same year. Ndubai’s lawyer said they will have to re-examine their defence plan.

“We need time to go through the new charges. There’s a complete new strategy. We want to prepare adequately for new witnesses,” he said.

Others who sought an adjournment were Evans Kundu, Sammy Mwangi, Anthony Wamiti, Arkroad Holdings Limited, Catherine Njeri

Kamuyu T/A Erstaz Enterprises, Murugu T/A Ersatz Enterprises, Andrine Grace Nyambura Mbare T/A and Kalabash Food Supplies.

Their lawyer, Wandugi Kiraithe, told the court that declining to grant them more time would prejudice the case.

Prosecutor Joseph Riungu opposed the adjournment, saying the suspects had sufficient time to seek instructions from their clients.

But principal magistrate Peter Ooko allowed the suspects’ requests.

“In the interest of justice, I’m inclined to give defence three days to prepare in light of the amended charges introduced by the consolidated charge sheet,” he said.

The prosecution was put on notice not to produce any new documents in the case unless allowed by the court.

The magistrate directed the prosecution to provide Samuel Otieno, another accused, with all documents it intends to rely on during trial. Otieno was arraigned in court

yesterday and pleaded to the charges for the first time. A warrant of his arrest had been issued.

Omollo, Ndubai and 30 others were charged afresh on Monday after the prosecution consolidated three files.

Omollo is accused of

unlawfully authorising payment of about Sh26 million to Catherine Njeri, Andrine Grace and Sarah Murugu.

Other charges against the accused

are conspiracy to commit an economic crime, abuse of office, wilful failure to comply with applicable procedures relating to the management of public funds, and fraudulent acquisition of public property.

Omollo and Ndubai have two other cases pending before different courts concerning the payment of about Sh167 million to three companies — Firstling Limited, Kunjiwa Enterprises and Ameritrade Limited — and Sh226.9 million to companies related to the Ngirita family.

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