Businessman Ben Gethi seeks assets freeze in Sh791m NYS theft case

Gethi says there’s no evidence linking him to the theft of Sh791m at NYS.

Wednesday January 20 2016

Businessman Benson Gethi Wangui in a Nairobi court where he was charged with stealing over Sh791 million jointly with other NYS employees from government between December 1, 2014 and April 30, 2015 at the National Youth Service headquarters.  PHOTO | PAUL WAWERU | NATION MEDIA GROUP

Businessman Benson Gethi Wangui in a Nairobi court where he was charged with stealing over Sh791 million jointly with other NYS employees from government between December 1, 2014 and April 30, 2015 at the National Youth Service headquarters. PHOTO | PAUL WAWERU | NATION MEDIA GROUP 

By ABIUD OCHIENG
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Businessman Benson Gethi Wangui, a key suspect in the Sh791 million theft at National Youth Service (NYS) wants the court to remove his name from a case the Assets Recovery Agency (ARA) has filed seeking to recover the money from him and others.

He also wants the court orders freezing properties that reportedly belong to him and seven others lifted because he is not the registered proprietor of the said properties that have also been named in the case.

In November last year, the court granted orders freezing the said properties after ARA, through lawyer Muthoni Kimani, filed an urgent application alleging the properties had been bought using money stolen from NYS.

In his application Tuesday, Mr Gethi said ARA’s case failed to link him to the said theft.

He said a related case which is also pursuing the Sh791 million, is yet to be determined  but  has also not mentioned him.

“The investigating officer Corporal Jeremiah Matipei has filed a replying affidavit in those proceedings and he has not made any averments about my involvement or participation in the purported  offences allegedly being investigated,” Mr Gethi in his court papers.

He said the November orders were issued without giving him an opportunity to be heard and are thus an attempt by the ARA to steal a match on him and the others.

Ms Josephine Kabura Irungu, who has been accused alongside Mr Gethi claimed in her defence the transaction between her entities and NYS were genuine and above board.

She said goods were requested and the same were delivered.

She said acknowledgment of receipt was given and money paid for the goods delivered. She said the Sh791 million was not stolen but was payment for goods sold and delivered.

“I  did not receive any money from Ms Irungu’s businesses or any other money regarding the Sh791 million,” Mr Gethi said yesterday.

He said even though his company Horizon Ltd has had a long business relationship with government institutions, no evidence has been produced to support the ARA claims that he received payments.

Mr Gethi added that his companies were not involved in the NYS infrastructure projects which are the basis of the investigations.

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