The lead investigator in the National Youth Service (NYS) scandal has confirmed that he was friends with one of the suspects but denied doing business with him.
Chief Inspector Mike Kingoo Muia has at the same time been removed from the case and his junior has taken over following the damning claims by Jeremiah Gichina Ngirita, who is charged in connection with the loss of Sh468 million from NYS.
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In a replying affidavit dated May 11, Muia said his friend, Sammy Kioko, a businessman in Naivasha, had introduced him to Ngirita in 2013.
“I started seeing him and he also became my friend and also Macharia Kimani, Lucas Mugwe and Kariuki Anthony. We became so close that he even visited my rural home thrice,” he stated.
“As friends, we could borrow money among ourselves and Jeremiah Gichini Ngirita used to give us cheques to deposit after a period we had agreed on,” he added.
Muia said immediately he realised Ngirita’s company was under investigation, he informed the Director of Criminal Investigations (DCI) and a team of detectives he was leading.
“When I discovered that his business was one of those under investigation, I declared to the investigating team that I was heading and also to the Director, Directorate of Criminal Investigations who told me to proceed since his (Ngirita) file was being handled by a different officer,” he said.
In an affidavit dated June 7, Mr Ngirita stated that the officer was his business partner and that they had been supplying hardware and renovating facilities at NYS in Gilgil.
But Muia denied having any business relations with Ngirita, or being a partner at Jerrycathy Enterprises.
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“This can be confirmed by the certificate of registration number 442082 dated May 17, 2006, as a sole proprietor,” Muia said in his affidavit.
He also denied allegations that the suspect had made cash payments into his Co-operative Bank account, saying a bank deposit slip presented by the suspect showed a deposit he made in his account on October 21, 2016.
Muia said on that day, he was in Gilgil with Ngirita and Mr Kioko, who paid him Sh820,000 that he owed him, in the presence of Ngirita.
“The three of us then proceeded to Co-operative Bank Gilgil Branch to deposit the cash but I only deposited Sh800,000 after which the deposit slip remained with Jeremiah Gichini Ngirita after I forgot it in his vehicle,” he states.
This came as it emerged that Muia had been removed from the investigations team following the allegations of business dealings with Ngirita and the NYS.
Ngirita has also accused the officer of making sexual advances on his sister, Wambere Ngirita, who is also facing graft charges in court.
Muia, who swore the affidavit that saw the suspects denied bail by a Nairobi magistrate and remanded in prison, has been sent to Kiganjo Police Training College for further training as he eyes promotion to the rank of Senior Superintendent.
Confirmation of Muia's removal came after an affidavit filed by the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) in the High Court yesterday opposing the applications for bond was sworn by Inspector Paul Waweru, one of the investigators who is also Muia's junior.
Ngirita claimed Muia had been his business partner and that the two had been trading with NYS since 2014 through his company, Jerricathy Enterprises. He said they had been supplying hardware material and renovating facilities in Gilgil.
Ngirita told the court he had been depositing money in Muia's Co-operative Bank account and produced banking slips to support his claims. He further accused Muia of making sexual advances on his sister during investigations into the NYS scandal.
Muia said he had been a police officer for the last 16 years and worked in various stations including Naivasha Criminal Investigations Department, where he was attached to the Naivasha Law Courts as a prosecutor between 2010-2015.
He said he had never done any business with NYS either in person or in proxy and that the only time he had gone to the youth service was during investigations.
He denied meeting the Ngiritas at Rafikis Club on Langata Road in Nairobi, saying on the said day, he was in Wote in Makueni County.
Muia also denied claims he recorded Ms Wambere’s statement at DCI headquarters in the presence of her brother.
“The only time I met Anne Wambere Ngirita was on May 21, 2018, at the Directorate of Criminal Investigations when I recorded her statement in the presence of four other police officers among them two female officers. The recording started at around 11.30am up to 12.45pm after which I gave her (statement) to go through,” he stated.
He added that in the affidavit, he wrote a certificate showing that the statement was taken without force, incitement, inducement or promise, and that she signed it.
“That there was no time I was with Ms Wambere alone throughout the interrogation and I have never ever made any sexual advances towards her. Despite Ngirita alleging that I was making sexual advances to Ms Wambere on 28th May 2018, his charge and cautionary statement was being recorded by Inspector Martin Muli in a different office at the same time.”
Muia said Ngirita never mentioned that he was his business partner during his questioning, adding that the suspect issued several bounced cheques to Mugwe, Kariuki, Kioko and Kimani.