Kenya: 10 Charged Over Sh110 Million Loss at NCPB's Kisumu, Eldoret Depots

13 December 2018

Ten suspects were charged on Thursday over the loss of Sh110 million at the Eldoret and Kisumu depots of the National Cereals and Produce Board (NCPB).

They denied various charges and were each released on bonds of Sh5 million with sureties of the same amounts. They were also ordered them to surrender their passports to the Anti-Corruption Court in Kisumu.

BOND TERMS

The accused include Mr Willy Kipkoech Kosgey (silo manager, Kisumu), Mr Renson Kibet Korir (silo manager, Eldoret), Mr Thomas Kipkurgat (Soi Ward extension officer) and Kisumu Deputy Silo Manager Jeremiah Omutsani Omwayi.

The others are Mr Laban Momanyi Michira (a cashier at the NCPB offices in Kisumu), Mr David Bargetuny Korir (an assistant chief of Sionim), Mr Willie Kipkoech (Kimumu Ward Assistant Agricultural Officer), and Ms Caroline Chepchumba, Mr Rodney Kimutai and Mr Stephen Kiprob Maiyo, who are all traders.

Ms Victoria Jebet Rotich, a trader and another suspect in the case, did not appear in court, the defence team saying she was admitted to Avenue Health Centre in Nairobi.

In his ruling, Principal Magistrate Patrick Olengo said, "This is not a case fit for cash bail."

Justice Olengo directed that the accused be held at Kodiaga Maximum Security Prison as their bonds are processed.

Those who will not be able to raise their bonds will be detained at the facility.

THE CHARGES

In the first count, the suspects were charged with conspiracy to commit an economic crime, the charge sheet stating that between October 17, 2017 and June 1, they conspired to acquire public property worth Sh110 million from the NCPB.

Mr Willie Sang faced five charges, the highest number in the case.

Besides the conspiracy charge, he faced four counts of abuse of office on claims that he irregularly signed the Agriculture ministry's vetting forms which facilitated Ms Chepchumba's irregular supply of maize to the Kisumu depot.

Mr Kosgey and Mr Omwayi faced three other charges - two of failure to comply with laws, procedures and guidelines on the management of public funds and one of abuse of office.

The two are accused of failing to act to ensure funds allocated for maize purchases in the 2017/2018 period were prudently used.

The inaction is said to have led to the irregular payment of Sh110 million by the depot.

IRREGULAR PAYMENTS

On the charge of abuse of office, Mr Kosgey and Mr Omwayi are said to have used their office to improperly confer benefits of Sh102 million and Sh 7.7 million to Ms Chepchumba and Mr Maiyo respectively.

The two who were paid are unregistered farmers.

Mr Korir and Mr Momanyi faced the same charge in the second count - willful failure to comply with laws, procedures and guidelines on the management of public funds.

They allegedly facilitated maize delivery by Ms Chepchumba, an action which led to the irregular payment of Sh102 million.

Ms Chepchumba, Mr Kimutai and Mr Maiyo's second charge was that of fraudulent acquisition of public property.

Ms Rotich's was dealing with suspect property by receiving Sh70,166,237,00 from Ms Chepchumba.

Justice Olengo said the case will be mentioned on December 27.

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