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'NYS suspects tried to influence detectives’

Friday May 25 2018

 National Youth Service College

President Uhuru Kenyatta inspects a recruits parade during a recent ceremony at the National Youth Service College in Gilgil, Nakuru County. PHOTO | FILE | NATION MEDIA GROUP 

FRED MUKINDA
By FRED MUKINDA
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Suspects accused of looting funds from the National Youth Service tried to use their ill-gotten wealth to persuade investigators against pursuing them, Government Spokesman Eric Kiraithe said Friday.

He however added that their actions would attract additional charges in court.

“Those who steal public money will do everything possible in their power to compromise investigations. In the past, many cases involving loss of money were reported and later we were told there is no evidence,” Mr Kiraithe said.

He added: “This time round we are not ready for those stories. Investigating teams have been resourced sufficiently to ensure sufficient justice. All those who have tried to compromise shall be arrested and prosecuted.”

Besides the NYS scandal, detectives are pursuing suspects who stole from the Kenya Pipeline Company and the National Cereals and Produce Board.

More than Sh9 billion worth of contracts are being scrutinised in the NYS saga.

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Public Service Principal Secretary Lillian Mbogo-Omollo and NYS director-general Richard Ndubai are among officials being investigated.

They were forced to leave office pending the outcome of the investigations.

Yesterday, the PS and the NYS boss were grilled by National Assembly’s Public Accounts Committee.

“On Monday, we shall be giving a brief with timelines on when prosecutions will start. No Kenyan will steal public money and escape. The Judiciary is expected to help in the fight and expedite on going and the anticipated cases,” Mr Kiraithe also said.

Over the KPC saga, Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission officials yesterday grilled Managing Director Charles Tanui in connection to Sh647 million Hydrant Pit Valves probe, a day after raiding his home.

The EACC sleuths sought to establish the role of the former boss in the loss of the money through a scheme that awarded them to select briefcase companies.

Detectives analysed documents and laptops in the house of Mr Tonui who was the company’s boss in 2014, when the tenders were purportedly awarded.

The detectives then proceeded to raid other officials’ homes and offices, collecting documents they believe, will support the investigations that come four years later.

EACC Chief Executive Officer Halakhe Waqo said in a statement that the commission was conducting investigations into allegations of corruption in the award of tender No SU/QT/3264F/14 by the Kenya Pipeline Company Limited for the supply of Hydrant Pit Valves complete with isolation valves and two year operational spares at a cost of $6,408,491.89 (Sh647,257,680.89).

“We conducted a search at the residence and offices of the public officials of the company who handled the procurement at the time,” Mr Waqo said, adding that the officers retrieved several documents and records that are crucial to the investigations.