Kenya: NYS Suspects Fail to Appear Before Court for Third Time

By Vincent Agoya

Businessman Ben Gethi, his co-accused Ms Josephine Kabura and eight others failed to appear before a criminal court on Friday.

They are wanted in court to plead to 15 counts of money laundering in relation to the Sh791 million lost from the National Youth Service.

The suspects were first expected in court on March 8, but did not turn up claiming one of them had obtained orders halting their trial.

A judge has since clarified that the interim order only applied to lawyer Patrick Ogolla who has since lodged a petition challenging his prosecution.

FRESH SUMMONSES

Senior Principal Magistrate Joyce Gadana on Friday issued fresh summonses against the suspects and ordered they present themselves in court on April 14.

A team of lawyers representing the suspects in the pending case had protested that their clients had not been “properly served with the court summons.”

In her ruling Ms Gandani said the suspects be served afresh personally or through the media.

“I am not satisfied with the manner in which the suspects were served, and I hereby direct that the prosecution serves them afresh,” she said.

The magistrate directed that if the suspects “cannot be served individually, the Director of Public Prosecutions should publish the summons in two local dailies with a national reach.”

Two lawyers were served in court after they told the court that they will be representing two of the suspects.

Mr Ham Kiplagat, who represents Mr Antony Gethi informed court that he is currently hospitalised and could not make it to court. Mr Paul Amuga, for Samuel Mudanyi, was also given the summons in court.

Other lawyers asked that the suspects be served “personally.”

Prosecutor Eddy Kadebe told the court that the investigating officer was experiencing hurdles in reaching the suspects to serve them with the summonses.

PROCEEDS OF CRIME

The charges facing Ms Kabura, Mr John Kago Ndungu, Mr Patrick Ogolla Onyango and Mr Ben Gethi read that between December 1, 2014 and April 30, 2015 in Nairobi they jointly engaged in an arrangement for the purchase of a motor vehicle, registration number KCB 750Z, Range Rover, at a cost of Sh23 million while knowing that the money was the proceeds of crime, namely the sum of Sh791,385,000 stolen from the NYS.

Ms Kabura, Mr Kago and Ms Charity Wangui Gethi are further charged with buying a Jeep Cherokee at a cost of Sh6.3 million from the NYS rip-off.

The charge states that on December 1 they bought the vehicle registration number KCD 241Q.

Mr Samuel Mudanyi Wachenje, alias Sam Mwadime, allegedly bought a Toyota Prado at a cost of Sh5.2 million, the prosecution says.

The fourth charge state that Mr Kago, Antony Kihara Geth and John Hope Van Damme jointly engaged in an arrangement for the purchase of a Sh5.07 million Land Cruiser, an offence the prosecution says was committed between December 1, 2014 and April 30, 2015 in Nairobi.

Ms Kabura, Mr Kago, Charity Wangui Gethi and Mr Patrick Ogolla are also charged with buying a parcel of land, LR Number 21/1/97, worth Sh63 million in Roselyn Estate, Nairobi from the proceeds of the scam.

Source: All Africa