A Nairobi magistrate on Tuesday directed that Mrs Lucy Wambui Ngirita, the mother of three suspects in the National Youth Service (NYS) scandal, be taken to Kenyatta National Hospital (KNH) for medication.
Through her lawyer Cliff Ombetta, Mrs Ngirita said she is ill and the condition at Lang’ata Women’s Prison, where she was remanded, has worsened her condition.
Looking tired and frail, Mrs Ngirita told the court that she has not been feeling well. Prosecutor Verah Omolo said she was not opposed to the application that she be referred for treatment.
Mrs Ngirita, through her company Waluko Investments, is alleged to have fraudulently received Sh59 million from NYS. Her daughters – Ann Wanjiku Wambere and Phyllis – and son Jeremiah Gichini are among the suspects implicated in the Sh469 million scam.
At the same time, Chief Magistrate Douglas Ogoti directed prisons authorities to ensure all suspects in their custody are protected.
He said expressions of fear made by the accused persons should not be taken lightly.
Mr Ogoti made the order following an application by Mr Gichini who said he feared being harmed following claims he made through an affidavit – touching on the investigating officer in the case, Mr Mike Muia.
Mr Gichini, whose company – Jerrycathy Enterprises – allegedly received Sh72 million, told the court that he was fearful that he might be harmed after linking the lead investigator to his businesses.
“I direct that all the accused persons be accorded maximum security. Their fears should not be taken lightly,” Mr Ogoti said.
Mr Gichini alleged in the affidavit that his company has been trading with NYS in partnership with Mr Muia since 2014.
He said his company has been carrying out renovations and supplies to NYS together with Mr Muia and he made several payments through Mr Muia’s bank account. He further stated that his relationship with Muia went bad and he vowed to use his position to fight the family.
Mr Muia has denied the allegations through an affidavit, saying he has never done business with NYS. He has, however, acknowledged that they are friends with Mr Gichini. He said that the Sh800,000 paid to his account by Mr Gichini was a debt.
Mr Muia said he forgot a deposit slip in Mr Gichini’s car after depositing Sh800,000 in his account at Cooperative Bank Gilgil Branch on October 21, 2016.
“It is worth noting that the said deposit slip does not bear the customer’s signature and mobile number as I was depositing it to my account. It is common knowledge that if depositing cash into someone’s account, you have to give your details,” he said.
Mr Gichini alleged that when their business relationship went sour, the officer vowed to use his position to deal with the family and that before their arrest on May 26, the officer called a meeting with his two sisters at Rafiki Club on Lang'ata Road in Nairobi.
In his defence though, Mr Muia denied the allegations saying that on the alleged date, he was with his family in Makueni and even had a meeting with his other friends at Wote town between 5 pm and 7 pm. He said he travelled to Nairobi on May 27.
Mr Muia dismissed the allegations, saying that the suspect and his three family members were arrested on the same day from Naivasha and taken to Naivasha police station, then taken to the Directorate of Criminal Investigations.