Seven Parliamentary staff Obudo Samuel, Mary Gathigia, Keith Musyoki, Aloys Nyambariga, David Mulinge, George Omondi and Benjamin Njagi appeared before Chief Magistrate Daniel Ogembo before a Nairobi court on Tuesday November 10, 2015 at Milimani law courts.
BY SAM, ALFAN.
Seven Parliamentary staff has been charged with conspiring to steal sh 70.6 million from the Parliament.
Obudo Samuel, Mary Gathigia, Keith Musyoki, Aloys Nyambariga, David Mulinge, George Omondi and Benjamin Njagi appeared before Chief Magistrate Daniel Ogembo and denied the charges.
The court heard that they allegedly conspired to steal on diverse dates between July 2013 and June 2015.
Mary Gathigia, Keith Musyoki and Aloys Nyambariga faced other counts of Abuse of Office and making a document without authority.
The court heard that on January 2014 to June 2015 at parliament building in Nairobi being persons employed in the public service as Deputy Director Finance and Accounts ,Principal Procurement Officer and Procurement Assistant respectively, they arbitrarily directed the procurement of assorted printing tonners all valued at sh 70.6 million.
On the last count, Otieno, Kithua, Arun and Kagutu were accused that on similar dates, being persons employed in the public service as director finance and accounting, principal finance officer, deputy director internal audit and accountant (III) respectively, they arbitrarily directed the payment of assorted printing toners all valued at Sh70,624,900.
The accused faced several other counts of abuse of office. They denied the charges before Chief Magistrate Daniel Ogembo and were released on a Sh1 million bond and one surety of similar amount or a cash bail of Sh300,000. The defence through lawyer James Ochieng Oduol applied for favorable bond terms on the grounds that the accused are Kenyan citizens and are not fright risk.
“I pray that the court retains the terms that the accused were granted on the first day they appeared in court because they have been cooperating,” said Oduol.
Prosecutor Daniel Karuri did not oppose their application for bail but urged the court to consider the magnitude of the offence and enhance bail terms. “The offence is of serious nature and the bond term of Sh1 million or a cash bail of Sh300,000 should be enhanced,” he said. The case will be heard on January 26, 2016.
They are also accused of misuse office. The first two and five was ordered to report at criminal investigation department.
In the last count, Obudo Samuel Otieno, David Mulinge Kithua, George Omondi Arum and Benjamin Njagi Kagutu were charged with abuse of office by directing the payment of assorted printing tonners all valued at sh 70.6 million .
Mr Ochieng applied the accused to be released on the same bond terms.
Mr Ochieng told the court that, the accused appeared before in court as ordered after miscellaneous criminal application by the prosecution.
Mr Daniel Karuri for the director of public prosecution opposed Mr Ochieng application for the accused to be released on the same bond terms requesting the court to advance the bail terms since the accused has been charged.
“We are not opposed bail to bail, however we have a problem with the existing bail bond terms of one million and a cash bail of 300,00” said Mr Karuri
Mr Karuri told the court that,the terms were issued to the accused before they were charged and it has evidence on the charge sheet the charges are serious and sought the bail terms to be advanced.
Nairobi Chief Magistrate Daniel Ogembo ruled the accused person to be released on the same terms.
They are facing nine charges.
Earlier five of the accused person appeared before aNairobi court and were released on a Cash bail of Sh 300,000 with a surety of Sh 1 million.
Senior principal Magistrate Benson Nzakyo, directed the suspects to deposit the amount to secure their release pending investigation to the loss of Sh 78 million from Parliament kitty.
Senior Principal Magistrate Benson Zakyo in his ruling said he found no reason to detain the accused.
“In my personal opinion I have not seen any reason why the respondents should be detained for more than 24 hours” said Zakyo.
Director of Public Prosecution Keriako Tobiko had applied to have five held for a period of 14 days to allow police investigate.
”The amount of money involved is complex and police has been unable to complete investigation’s. All the five respondent are employees of parliament if released they are likely to interfere with investigation” Said Karuri.
However, accused defense team led by James Ochieng objected to DPP application.
It’s inconsistence to say one has stolen over 70 million and then on the other hand say we have not completed investigations” James Ochieng told the court.
The suspects Obudo Samuel Otieno (director of finance) Keith Musyoki Kisinguh and Alloys Nyambariga (Supplies department George Omondi Arun and Benjamin Njagi Kagutu were arrested on Monday and the DPP says police have not completed investigation before a decision is made whether to charge them.
The DPP through senor state counsel Daniel Karori, told the court that police require more time to investigate and interview witnesses.
He said two of key witnesses are out of the country; a decision to charge cannot be arrived. The suspect is staff members of Parliament under the employment of PSC, whose investigation might take time.
The prosecution told senior principal magistrate Benson Nzakyo, that there are several leads being followed by the police.