13 December 2018

Kenya: Ex-KPC Boss Charles Tanui Charged Over Sh664 Million Fraud

Former Kenya Pipeline Company Managing Director Charles Tanui and six other people were charged on Thursday with conspiracy to defraud the company of more than Sh644 million.

The others who were at the Anti-Corruption Court with Mr Tanui on Thursday were Philip Kimelu, Bramwel Juma Wanyalikha, Charles Ndiritu Maitai, Charles Ochieng Ouko, Fredrick Kagoshi Ogenga, Francis Omondi Obure, Beryl Aluoch Khasinah and Aero Dispenser Valves Limited.

SURRENDER

The suspects surrendered to police two days after the court issued warrants for their arrests as they failed to appear in court.

The case concerns a tender issued to an overseas company between October 2014 and July 2015.

The six appeared before Senior Principal Magistrate Felix Kombo and were represented by six lawyers including Dunstan Omari, Edward Oonge and Samson Nyaberi.

While urging the court to release the suspects on reasonable terms, lead lawyer Mr Omari noted that they all surrendered.

"They learnt about their warrants through the media but opted to surrender," he said, adding the seven who were charged on Tuesday were granted reasonable terms.

"Bail should not be punitive or excessive but reasonable," Mr Omari also said.

However, State prosecutor Rubby Akoth said the bail terms should be different from those of the people charged earlier.

RELEASE

Mr Tanui was charged with willful failure to comply with procurement laws by entering into a legal contract with Aero Dispenser.

In his ruling, the magistrate pointed out that a court considers the seriousness of offences besides other antecedents.

Mr Kombo said that Section 123 of the Penal Code guides courts in the determination of bond terms.

He directed Mr Tanui and all the others, save for Mr Ogenga, to deposit a bond of Sh2 million with one surety and gave him the alternative of a cash bail of Sh1 million.

Mr Ogenga who was released on a cash bail of Sh500,000 while Mr Kimelu was allowed to travel to Dubai for medical care.

The case will be mentioned on January 22, 2019 for directions to be issued.

OTHER SUSPECTS

Eighteen suspects have been named in the charge sheet while 14 have been arraigned so far.

Those charged on Tuesday were Francis Githaiga Muraya, Samuel Odoyo Mikwa, Nicholas Gatobu, Peter Gaitho Machua, Jane Jensai Nakodony, Charles Nderitu Maitai and Emilio Mwai Nderitu.

They denied the conspiracy charge in relation to Tender No.SU/QT/3264F/14 for the supply of Cla Val Model352GF Hydrant Puit Valves, complete with under hydrant valves and two-year maintenance spares.

Mr Obure and Mr Khasinah, directors of Aero Dispenser, have been charged with obtaining $2,544,076.31 (Sh254.6million) from the KPC and presenting a forged document from the Registrar of Companies in support of bid documents.

They have also been charged with failing to pay taxes for the amount they obtained from the company through the National Bank of Kenya in 2015.

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