Kenya: Accountant Denies Forgery Charges

23 September 2020

A former chief accountant officer at Kenya National Commission for UNESCO was Wednesday charged with forging a document to help her secure the state job two years ago.

Ms Catherine Nyakoboke appeared before Milimani Senior Principal Magistrate Bernard Ochoi and denied two counts of forgery and uttering a false document. She was hired at the organisation as the chief accountant in 2018.

The charge against Ms Nyakoboke stated that on March 5, 2018 jointly with others not before court and with intent to defraud, she made background check form, purporting it to be genuine and issued by Avic Shantui Construction (EA) limited, her former employer.

She was further accused that on the same day at KNATCOM-UNESCO offices situated at National Bank building on Harambee Avenue, she knowingly and fraudulently uttered background check form purporting it to be filled and signed by Walter Omwenga Oyugi.

The court ordered her to deposit cash bail of Sh100, 000 to secure her release. A pre-trial of the case will be held on October 7.

Ms Nyakoboke tried unsuccessfully to stop the charges against her arguing that another case, touching on similar issues, was pending before a Makadara court but the court dismissed her objection.

Documents annexed in court showed that her former employer confirmed that she worked for the company between September 24, 2014 and March 27, 2015 as a financial administration assistant.

Mr Oyugi, the man whose signature appeared on the background form, later filed a complaint with the DCI denying signing such a document. Upon conclusion of the investigations, the DCI handed the report to the office of the DPP.

The CEO of Knatcom, Dr Evangeline Njoka, also waded into the dispute last year and wrote to the Attorney General's office, seeking legal advice on the best way to handle the matter.

Dr Njoka wanted to know whether the board can take disciplinary action, the remedy available and whether the board has the capacity to investigate the matter, among other issues.

In November, Solicitor General Kennedy Ogetto wrote back recommending to the organization to report the matter to the DCI, the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission (EACC) and the State Corporations Advisory Commission (SCAC) for further action.

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