Billionaire businessman Ben Gethi who is among the 11 key suspects linked to the loss of Sh791 Million National Youth Service (NYS) money during a mention of the case at Milimani law courts last month.
10 suspects linked to the loss of Sh791 Million National Youth Service (NYS) money should appear in court to plead to money laundering charges

Justice Joseph Onguto in his ruling said it was clear to the court that the 10 suspects had not convinced the court that orders stopping one of the suspects, Patrick Ogolla should be extended to all of them.

“I wish to reiterate that the mere fact that persons are jointly charged with the same offence an order of stay in judicial review must not necessarily apply to them in equal measure,” Justice Onguto ruled.

The court had been told that Ogolla a lawyer approached the high court and successfully obtained an order suspending his prosecution.

The judge said the reason why the court gave temporary orders was to avoid a situation in which the court would stop the whole criminal proceedings which would be detrimental to others suspects who wish the case to be expedited.

Mr Ogolla is facing money laundering charges alongside Martin Gachara Wanjohi and Charity Wangui Gethi with jointly transferring Sh 77.6 million an account at Faulu Kenya.

Others on the list include Josephine Kabura who recently filed a damning affidavit implicating former Devolution Cs Anne Waiguru in the scam.

The suspects had earlier been summoned to appear in court to answer to charges of money laundering, but none of them showed up.

The prosecution had last week told Milimani Chief Magistrate Daniel Ogembo that the stay order was only for Ogolla and thus the rest of the 10 suspects in the fresh case of money laundering should appear in court and plead to the charges.

The prosecutor further said that the high court order applied only to Ogolla and did not affect other parties in the case and they should therefore be summoned to appear in court.

“While the application is not within the jurisdiction of this court, I urge the parties to approach the high court once more for interpretation of the same orders,” Prosecutor Eddie Kadebe had submitted.

The 11 suspects are required before the chief magistrate’ court at Milimani to answer to 15 counts of money laundering arising from a probe into the theft at the NYS headquarters.

Among the suspects are billionaire businessman Ben Gethi and lawyers who reportedly acted on their behalf.

On Monday Justice Onguto the orders at any stage of the criminal proceedings may varied, set aside or vacated all together depending on the circumstances. The judge said when the High Court gave the orders it did so in considering the matter was likely to affect other suspects in one way or the other.

“To stay the criminal proceedings without getting their view of the matter, assuming that some of them were not for the idea of staying the subject criminal proceedings would obliviously have been prejudicial to their interests,” Justice Onguto said.

The judge noted that it was not clear to the court the suspects themselves were desirous of the criminal proceedings being stopped.

“In my view to grant the orders of stay to those have attempted to get the same orders and have been unsuccessful would turn the judicial process into a circus,” the judge said

According to the charge sheet, Kabura, Ndungu, Ogolla and 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 Sh 23 million while knowing that the money was the proceeds of crime, namely the sum of Sh 791,385,000 stolen from the National Youth Service.

Kabura, Kago and Charity Wangui Gethi are further charged with buying a Jeep Cherokee at a cost of Sh 6.3 million as part of the rip off of NYS money.

The charge states that on December 1 they bought the vehicle registration number KCD 241Q.
According to prosecution, Samuel Mudanyi Wachenje alias Sam Mwadime is also alleged to have bought a Toyota Prado at a cost of Sh 5.2 million.

The fourth charge states that Kago, Antony Kihara Gethi and John Hope Van Damme jointly engaged in an arrangement for the purchase of a Sh 5.07 million Land Cruiser, an offence the prosecution says was committed between December 1 2014 and April 30 2015 in Nairobi.

Kabura, Kago, Charity Wangui Gethi and Patrick Ogolla are also charged with buying a parcel of land LR Number 21/1/97 worth Sh 63 million in Roselyn Estate, Nairobi from the proceeds of the scam.