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NYS scandal suspects were freed for lack of evidence

Monday May 28 2018
Mangiti

Former Devolution Principal Secretary Peter Mangiti in court. The Sh791 million National Youth Service theft case against him and 22 other suspects was dismissed on March 9, 2018. FILE | NATION MEDIA GROUP

By SAM KIPLAGAT

One of the cases against the suspects in the 2015 National Youth Service (NYS) scandal, among them former Devolution PS Peter Mangiti, was dismissed on March 9 this year after the prosecution failed to link them to the charges they were facing.

Dr Mangiti and 23 others, among them members of the Ministerial Tender Committee, were acquitted of the charge  of conspiracy to commit economic crime after Chief Magistrate Kennedy Bidali ruled that the prosecution failed to provide sufficient evidence to prove that there was, indeed, a conspiracy to commit a crime.

The other suspects were Mr Hassan Noor Hassan and Senior Deputy Director-General  Adan Gedow Harakhe.

The magistrate said that  for a conspiracy case to be proved, there must be evidence that the accused persons, indeed, held a meeting, mooted the idea, and agreed to commit the said offence.

The court further said the witnesses exonerated the accused instead of implicating them.

CASE TO ANSWER

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But the court found  that Selesio Karanja had a case to answer. Mr Karanja a supply chain assistant at NYS, was accused of  inserting  the name of Dama Services Ltd on the tender-opening register for the procurement of training materials for  the automotive engineering faculty. The alleged crime was committed on January 29, 2015.

The hearing of fraud charges against Dr Mangiti and 23 other suspects, among them Ben Gethi, Josephine Kabura, and former NYS Director-General Nelson Githinji, is pending in a different court.

The 24 are facing charges in connection with the loss of Sh791 million at the NYS.

TESTIFIED

The witnesses who have testified narrated how Mr Harakhe’s password  was used to approve the payment of Sh800 million without his knowledge.

One witness, Mr Christopher Keter, who was  on secondment  to the  NYS, said they made the discovery about five days after the approval  was granted  and the payment made.

The witness told the court that Mr Harakhe called him on May 25, 2015, inquiring about the payment.

Since he could not access the IFMIS, he said he promised to confirm it with his colleague, a Mr Jared Nyandimu. who also testified, saying that the entry was made by a Regina Mungai and approved the same day.

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