National Hospital Insurance Fund (NHIF) Chief Executive Officer Geoffrey Mwangi and Finance Director Wilbert Kurgat have been charged with disobedience of court orders.
The two are accused of conspiring to defeat justice by knowingly preventing the execution of a court order issued by Magistrate Sinkiyan Tobiko on September 25, 2018.
They are said to have committed the offense between September 26, 2018 and November 23, 2018 at the NHIF headquarters along Ragati Road, Upperhill Nairobi.
In the second count, the officials were charged with disobedience of orders contrary to the law.
The court heard that on November 21, 2018 at NHIF, Mwangi being the Chief Executive officer disobeyed an order from a magistrate’s court requiring them to produce of books of evidential value in connection with investigations being conducted by DCI Chief Inspector Nephat Marubu.
In the last count, Kurgat was charged with being the director of finance and investment at NHIF, he disobeyed a magistrate’s lawful order.
Chief Magistrate Francis Andayi ruled that the charges as drafted can always be amended and ordered them to take plea.
The two pleaded not guilty to the charges.
According to the investigators, Mwangi sent an SMS to Kurgat directing him not to share the documents demanded by the investigators.
While applying for the release of the clients on bail, the lawyers submitted that bail is a constitutional right adding that an accused person is presumed innocent until proven guilty.
It was the defense submission that the two will not interfere with investigations.
The prosecution objected their release on bond on grounds that the two have demonstrated that they are persons who cannot obey court orders.
The officials are accused of refusing to surrender payment vouchers and other books of evidential value in relation to payment of millions of shillings to Webtribe Company Limited.
Pursuant to the orders, the police searched offices and private residences of senior officers at NHIF including those of the accused persons and recovered several vital documents which have since been retained by the investigators.
Failure to obey the orders has stalled the investigations and the accused should be denied bail to protect the integrity of the trial.
The prosecution also applied that the two be barred from accessing their offices. They also want the two barred from communicating with or calling any current or former NHIF staff.
In addition, they want the officials ordered to deposit their passports in court.
The two have been remanded at Industrial Area prison pending bail ruling that will be delivered tomorrow.