Only eight of the 47 persons facing charges in relation to the Sh469 million graft charges at National Youth Service (NYS) have managed to secure their freedom, one week after they were released on bond.
Those who have walked to temporary freedom so far include suspended Youth Affairs Principal Secretary Lillian Omollo, former NYS acting Director-General Sammy Muchuki, Mr Peter Muthomi and Mr Stephen Muchai Riungu, both internal auditors at Treasury, and Mr Don Mwaniki Kariungi, described as an IFMIS buyer.
Others are Mr James Thuita and Ms Yvonne Wanjiku Ngugi, the directors of Firstling Supplies Limited, a company alleged to have received fraudulent payments from NYS, and Mr Evans Wafula Kundu, the former in-charge of Mechanical Transport Branch and AIE Holder at NYS and who is accused of approving payment of Sh72 million to Mr Jeremiah Gichini Ngirita.
On Tuesday, the court was in the process of approving the release of more accused persons, including former NYS Director-General Richard Ndubai.
Their relatives had presented themselves to court as sureties for cross-examination as well as securities they would deposit in court.
Others were Mr Wellington Lubira, a former acting director of finance at NYS, Mr Sammy Mbugua, a former heads of accounts at the Ministry of Youth and Gender Affairs, Mr Kenneth Mburu Mwathi and Mr Peter Muritu.
On Friday, Director of Public Prosecutions Noordin Haji asked the Directorate of Criminal Investigations to ensure that bail and sureties presented by the accused persons are not proceeds of crime.
In a statement, Mr Haji directed the DCI to confirm the validity and legitimacy of the securities, saying concerns have been raised by the Assets Recovery Agency (ARA) that some of the funds intended to be used as sureties are not only suspect but are also subject of the current cases.
The accused persons have been in remand since May 29, when they were charged with multiple counts relating to the loss of Sh469 million at the agency.
They had initially been denied bail by Chief Magistrate Douglas Ogoti who said that the charges touched on the economy and were serious.
But they moved to the High Court and Justice Hedwig Ong’udi ordered them to be released on bond and bail.
The judge said there was nothing compelling to deny their freedom.
She directed each of the accused persons to execute a bond of Sh5 million plus a surety of Sh2 million.
Further, each of them will deposit Sh1 million cash bail in court, pending the determination of their case.
“All in all I find that the respondent has not satisfied this court that the applicants and their co-accused should not be admitted to bail,” she said.
“Even as I grant bail I am alive to the seriousness of the charges the applicants and co-accused are facing.”
They were also ordered to deposit their passports and any other travel documents with the court.
Upon their release, the accused persons are required to report to the DCI offices in Gigiri, once every week.