The Director of Public Prosecutions has labelled 20 suspects accused of stealing millions of shillings from the National Youth Service (NYS) as enemies of the State as he pushed for their detention.
The DPP, through a team of six State prosecutors, argued that the accused persons had committed economic crimes against the public by conspiring to defraud a total of Sh468 million through a chain of fictitious payments for goods not delivered.
“They are a threat to national security and public enemies due to their acts of economic crimes. What they have stolen is public money. The victim is the State and members of the public who want stiffer action against the suspects,” said the prosecutors.
The prosecutors made their case as Mr Ogoti issued a warrant of arrest for two businessmen who were allegedly illegally paid Sh24 million from the NYS kitty and who had refused to surrender to police.
According to the prosecution, Anthony Wamiti and Peter Wagara Kimani have gone into hiding and refused to honour summons to appear before the Director of Criminal Investigations to record statements.
“Even their lawyer says he does not understand why they have refused to present themselves, which shows there is something fishy going on. They refused to come when others made arrangements to appear in court, leaving the court with no option but to issue a warrant of arrest,” said Ogoti.
The magistrate added that they had constituted three special anti-corruption courts to commence hearing the cases, with the pre-trial conference scheduled for tomorrow.
“The three fraudulently acquired public property by receiving Sh26,660,000 in their account held at Consolidated Bank for goods not supplied to NYS,” read the charges.
The 20 comprised the second batch of suspects charged in relation to one of the biggest economic crimes involving the loss of more than Sh8 billion between January 2015 and April 2018.
They joined Youth and Gender Affairs Principal Secretary Lillian Mbogo-Omollo, NYS Director General Richard Ndubai and 23 others who were charged with similar offences last week.
From the charges in the 10 files presented in court, the most money was paid to Firstling Supply Ltd, which received more than Sh115 million through a conspiracy involving top NYS officials and the company directors.
The officials were further implicated in making payments to four family members - Ann Ngirita, Lucy Ngirita, Phylis Njeri and Jeremiah Ngirita - who are accused of receiving more than Sh100 million through three companies.
The NYS officials were also charged with conspiracy to defraud Sh116 million by making payments to several other companies without following the right procedures.
Lawyers for the accused pleaded for favourable bail terms, saying some of them were junior officers who found themselves in the mix when they should have been treated as State witnesses.