MP, agency chief charged over Sh122m media fraud - Daily Nation
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MP, advertising agency chief charged over Sh122m media fraud

Tuesday October 30 2018

Lugari MP Ayub Savula

Lugari MP Ayub Savula (second right) and former Principal Secretary Sammy Itemere are arraigned in the Anti-Corruption Court in Nairobi on October 29, 2018 over the theft of funds at the Government Advertising Agency. PHOTO | RICHARD MUNGUTI | NATION MEDIA GROUP 

By MAUREEN KAKAH
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Eighteen people were on Monday charged in court with regard to the Sh2.5 billion Government Advertising Agency scandal.

They include Lugari MP Ayub Angatia Savula, his two wives Melody Gatwiri Ringera and Hellen Jepkor Kemboi and a former Broadcasting and Telecommunications Principal Secretary Sammy Ishiundu Itemere.

Seven companies associated with Mr Savula and which are believed to have received illegal payments from the agency were also charged.

Prosecutor Warui Mungai claimed in court that the suspects conspired to steal Sh122 million from the ministry of Information and Communication Technology three years ago.

COMMIT CRIME

Except for Mr Savula’s wives, all the other suspects were charged with a second offence of helping to commit a crime by virtue of being public officers employed by the ministry.

They were accused of fraudulently acquiring public funds from the government under the pretext that it was payment for advertising supplies.

“Between July 1, 2015 and August 30 this year, at the State department for Broadcasting and telecommunication the accused persons conspired to steal Sh 122, 335,500,” Mr Mungai said.

The former PS, ex-GAA director Denis Kuko Chebitwey, Ms Susan Akinyi Ouma, Mr Dickson Oniala Nyandiaga and Mr Henry Musamba Mungasia faced a third charge of abuse of office.

Mr Savula together with his wives and their seven companies were also charged with obtaining money illegally.

GUILTY

Mr Victor Owino Ocholla was charged with forging a requisition letter dated April 22, 2017 without the authority of the Chief executive of the Public Service Commission Alice Otwala.

The suspects, who appeared before Milimani Chief Magistrate Francis Andayi, pleaded not guilty to all the charges and were freed on bond.

The court issued a warrant of arrest against Amos Matanga Tayari, Susan Akinyi Ouma, Gladys Isaka Mwanyika and Tabitha Nyaboke Oriba, who did not present themselves in court.

UNWELL

Out of the 18, five presented themselves in court although they did not report to the directorate of criminal investigations on Sunday as ordered.

They are Agren Jescah Atek, Sammy Makau Mule, Martin Njoroge Njenga, Edmund Horrace Munene and Joseph Kamau Charagu. Another suspect Ms Gladys Hadida Bwora was said to be unwell and did not appear in court.

The prosecution said while it was not opposed to the release of the suspects on bond, the offences were serious because of the amount of money involved.

Mr Savula and his wives were freed on a bond of one million shillings or a cash bail of Sh500, 000 each. Mr Savula was also required to pay an additional Sh500,000 for each of his companies.

CASH BAIL

The former PS and the rest were released on a bond of Sh2 million or a cash bail of one million shillings each.

Mr Savula was arrested at Pronto Restaurant on Kimathi Street, in Nairobi, on Friday evening and was locked up at Muthaiga Police Station while former GAA chief Chebitwey was arrested on Saturday in Nairobi’s Mountain View estate.

ICT Cabinet Secretary Joe Mucheru and his National Treasury counterpart, Henry Rotich are among other senior government officers who will be questioned by the National Assembly.