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NYS fraud: DCI opposes Phyllis Ngirita plea to access frozen account

Monday February 24 2020

Phyllis Njeri Ngirita at Milimani court

Phyllis Njeri Ngirita at the Milimani Law Courts in Nairobi County on November 1, 2018 during the hearing of a case over the theft of Sh468 million from the National Youth Service. PHOTO | DENNIS ONSONGO | NATION MEDIA GROUP 

JOSEPH WANGUI
By JOSEPH WANGUI
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The DCI wants the bank account of a member of the Ngirita family, which is accused of fraudulently receiving millions of shillings from the National Youth Service (NYS), to remain frozen saying the monies are proceeds of crime.

Ms Phyllis Njeri Ngirita has filed an application seeking access to her account at KCB to pay school fees for her son.

Chief Inspector Paul Waweru opposed the application on Monday, saying Ms Ngirita did not give compelling reasons for the freeze order to be lifted.

Mr Waweru, who is attached to the Financial Investigations Unit, further said the offences Ms Ngirita allegedly committed are serious as they involve theft of public funds amounting to Sh455.2 million.

OTHER ARGUMENTS

In his reply filed before Justice Mumbi Ngugi on Monday, the officer also said investigators made several applications to freeze the accounts of Ms Ngirita and her co-accused as the funds in question are proceeds of crime.

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He noted that the Assets Recovery Agency (ARA) already forfeited vehicles that Ms Ngirita is believed to have acquired through proceeds of crime.

“The Sh700,000 was obtained by the applicant through a loan from Opportunity International Wedco Limited and is related to proceeds of crime,” Mr Waweru also told the court.

He added that the car used as security for the loan, a Toyota Station Wagon, is also on investigators' radar.

The detectives have preserved the vehicle amid investigations into the NYS 2 corruption scandal.

The account that Ms Ngirita wants to access was frozen following an order by High Court Judge John Onyiego.

Inspector Waweru said: “The application amounts to abuse of court process as the court has already pronounced itself on this. The applicant should have made the application before Justice Onyiego, who froze the account."

"ONLY MONEY"

In her application, Ms Ngirita said her Standard Seven son at Pembroke House School in Gilgil has been at home due to arrears amounting to Sh3.4 million.

She claims the Sh800,000 that is locked up at her bank "is the only money I have" and that she acquired it as a loan.

Her lawyer Evans Ondieki said he was not in a position to respond immediately to the DCI as he was served late.

Mr Ondieki also said the DCI, the ARA and the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions have ganged up and mixed their constitutional duties.

“The ODPP should be an independent office and impartial but it is acting as one unit with the ASA and DCI. This is unconstitutional and against the principle of innocence. They are fused and there are no checks and balances,” he said.

Ms Ngirita’s application will be heard on March 3.