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Five Senior KBS Officials From Mombasa and Nairobi Charged With Fraud Worth Over Ksh. 26 Million

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Five senior Kenya Bureau of Standard (KBS) officials from Mombasa and Nairobi have been charged with fraud worth over Ksh. 26 million

Five senior Kenya Bureau of Standard (KBS) officials from Mombasa and Nairobi have been charged with fraud worth over Ksh. 26 million

The accused Geoffrey Ngari Wandeto KBS regional Accountant, Pauline Wamalwa Nafula Regional Assistant Accountant, Martin Mswanya Nyakiamo Regional Manager, Augustine Wachira Maganjo, Quality Assurance Manager and Rose Wangui Gacheru charged with stealing Ksh. 26,332,769.60.

However Pauline Wamalwa Nafula who was Regional Assistant Accountant was terminated in 2018.

The officials who were represented by their lawyer Eugene Wangila denied the charges before Resident Magistrate Christine Ogweno.

They were each released on a bond of Ksh 2 million with a one surety and an alternative cash bail of Ksh. 500,000.

According to the charge sheet, It is alleged the at the senior officials between 1st July, 2017 and 31st October 2018 they deposited the said money into operations account instead of the revenue account both held at National Bank of Kenya for the purpose of gaining access to the money.

They are also accused of furnishing false statements of money received and utilized in the cashbook for KBS held at NBK Nkurumah Branch Mombasa being persons in charge with receipts of public revenue on behalf of the Kenya government.
They are also accused of stealing by servant the said money being KBS employees in the ministry of trade and industrialization.

It is alleged that Wandeto and Nafula being Regional Accountant and Assistant Accountant at KBS respectively authorized payment of Ksh. 26,332,769 on diverse dates between 1st July 2017 and 31st October 2018.

Nyakiamo also faces a separate count of abuse of office being the Regional Manager at KBS Coast Region; he authorized the withdrawal of the said funds on the same diverse dates between 1st July 2017 and 31st October 2018.

Maganjo who is the Quality Assurance Manager in the region also face alone count arbitrary authorizing the withdrawal of the said funds from the bank to unknown payments.

Gacheru who is the Principal Accountant of KBS headquarters in Nairobi is also charged with failure to verify reconciliation documents to wit cashbooks and bank account statements for KBS Coast Region Operations account which omission resulted in KBS losing the said funds.

State prosecutor Vallerie Ongeti urged the court to take into account the seriousness of the charges facing the accused.

Wangila told the court that the accused were innocent of the charges and are supposed to be witnesses for the state.

As much as we speaking of the figures, you will realize that what they are being charges with is not what happened and they are innocent. As we go on you will realize that the accused are good witnesses for the Director of Public Prosecution DPP,” said Wangila.

He urged the court to be lenient on the accused and release them on a free bond or Ksh. 100, 000.

Wangila said that investigation into the alleged fraud commenced last year and the accused have been in office and cooperating with police to conduct investigations and had no reason to abscond.

He said that the accused had been detained in police custody for over 24 hours without being produced in court thus infringing on their constitutional rights.

However Ongeti said that the accused were all arrested on Friday at different location in the country at late hours and police could not avail them due to the weekend.

“Wandeto had been arrested in Laikipai, Nafula availed herself to police on Monday, Nyakiamo was arrested at Mbita, and Gacheru was arrested in Juja,” said Ongeti.

The pretrial is set for 29th September 2020.

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