Former county officials spend night in custody

Seven former Nairobi County senior officials accused of conspiracy to steal millions of shillings spent the night in custody after a magistrate declined to hear their application for bail.

The seven, Lilian Wanjiru Ndegwa, Jimmy Kiamba, Gregory Mwakanongo, Stephen Osiro, Luke Gatimu, John Njogu and Grace Githua, were charged alongside former Nairobi Governor Evans Kidero with conspiracy to commit a fraud leading to loss of Sh213 million from Nairobi City County.

They failed to appear in court last week when the former governor was charged, and presented themselves to court yesterday to plead to the charges.

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They faced a total of 31 charges ranging from abuse of office, fraudulent acquisition of public property, dealing with stolen public funds, receiving kickbacks and failure to pay taxes.

In the first count, they were charged with conspiracy to commit an offence of corruption leading to the loss of Sh213 million from the Nairobi City County.

“On diverse dates between January 16, 2014, and January 25, 2016, at Nairobi City County, jointly conspired to commit a fraud leading to loss of public funds in the sum of Sh213,327,300 for services not rendered,” read the charge sheet.

Ms Wanjiru, who was the county’s secretary, Mr Kiamba who was the chief finance officer, and Mr Mwakanogo, who was the county’s chief executive in charge of finance and economic planning, are said to have used their offices to confer benefits to various companies for services not rendered.

According to the charge sheet, they paid over Sh80 million to Ngurumani Traders Limited in unclear circumstances when the company had not rendered any services to the county.

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Their lawyers had requested that they be released on similar bond terms granted to the former governor, but anti-corruption court Senior Principal Magistrate Lawrence Mugambi ordered that they spend the night at Industrial Area Remand Prison until today when the application will be heard.

Dr Kidero and his former head of treasury Maurice Ochieng Okere were granted cash bail of Sh2 million each when they faced similar charges.

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