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Trial of NYS II fraud suspects starts

Tuesday January 15 2019

Lillian Mbogo Omollo,  Richard Ndubai

Ms Lillian Mbogo Omollo (right), former principal secretary in the State Department of Public Service and Youth Development, and former NYS director-general Richard Ndubai (second right) and their co-accused in a Milimani court on January 14, 2019.PHOTO | EVANS HABIL | NATION MEDIA GROUP 

SAM KIPLAGAT
By SAM KIPLAGAT
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The trial of a group implicated in the second scam at the National Youth Service (NYS), in which Sh468 million was lost, began at the Milimani Law Courts on Monday.

The prosecution said it would show how the Integrated Financial Management System (Ifmis) was manipulated to embezzle public funds.

The prosecution, led by Ms Verah Amisi, will further show that former Youth and Gender Principal Secretary (PS) Lillian Mbogo Omollo, then accounting officer, did not use the funds in accordance with the law and did not consult Parliament and the Treasury as required.

STEALING MILLIONS

“Through graphics and charts, we shall demonstrate how public funds from the Exchequer allocated to the Ministry of Public Service, were siphoned to fictitious companies through NYS in the guise of procurement,” she said.

The prosecution said it had evidence of forged circulars and genuine contractors’ numbers that were illegally used to pay non-existent suppliers.

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It will also show that the fraud was well-planned by former senior and junior NYS staff fronting unscrupulous characters as genuine suppliers, who allegedly supplied goods to NYS with the sole aim of stealing millions.

The court will be shown that three firms — Ersatz Enterprises, Arkroad Holdings and Kalabash Food Supplies — which were paid more than Sh60 million, were not among the companies pre-qualified to supply various items to the Department of Public Works.

In reply to an opening statement, Ms Omollo and former NYS Director-General Richard Ndubai said they had put in place mechanisms that saved the agency more than Sh2.2 billion.

DISPROVE CLAIMS

Through lawyers Stephen Ligunya and Migos Ogamba for Ms Omollo and Ndubai respectively, the two said they will disprove claims that they were involved in siphoning money from the NYS.

Mr Ligunya told Principal Magistrate Peter Ooko that their clients were in court only because of an “overzealous prosecution” exercising what may be compared to a dragnet, “with the intention of catching anything and everything”.

He said the 32 accused have suffered immensely, with their careers tarnished, if not extinguished and their families’ lives turned upside down.

Mr Ogamba said the defence will show that the charges were brought in bad faith with a view to embarrass the suspects. They will show that the evidence is selective and incomplete, speculative and generic and meant to shield the real culprits.

“The companies that supplied goods did the supplies during the day and not at night. They are not briefcase companies but licensed and registered to carry out business in this country.”

Mr Davis Osiemo concurred, saying, the charges were attributable to public and political pressure.

The hearing continues Tuesday.