KPA top manager, wife charged with Sh215m fraud

Patrick Nyoike (right) and Isaac Obunga at a Mombasa court on Monday. [Kelvin Karani, Standard]

Kenya Ports Authority (KPA) Finance General Manager Patrick Nyoike and his wife Jacinta Wanjiku were yesterday charged with Sh215 million fraud.

Mombasa Chief Magistrate Edna Nyaloti also issued warrants of arrest for two directors of Nyali Capital Company associated with Nyoike.

Nyoike, his wife Jacinta Wanjiku and his brother Alfred Hinga Nyoike and a Mr Peter Ndichu Kinyanjui are accused of conspiring to swindle KPA.

Wanjiku, Hinga and Kinyanjui did not turn up in court yesterday.

The magistrate issued arrest warrants for Hinga and Kinyanjui after failing to appear in court without explanation.

Nyaloti issued the orders following an application by Senior Assistant Director of Public Prosecution Aloice Kemo.

The magistrate, however, spared the wife of Nyoike from being arrested after her lawyer Jared Magolo said she could not turn up for the plea because she is sick.

EACC probe

Nyoike, who took plea yesterday, was arrested from his home in Mombasa on Sunday following an investigation by the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission (EACC).

He is a long-time employee of KPA and was poised to participate in an interview to replace immediate former KPA Managing Director Daniel Manduku.

Nyoike and Isaac Obunga, who is an account clerk with KPA, were separately charged with abuse of office.

The magistrate ordered their arrest after she rejected Magolo’s application to allow the two suspects to surrender to the investigators.

“Counsel, please let the DPP bring these suspects to the court because they have the means to do so,” said the magistrate.

Travel bans

Magolo had said the two could travel to Mombasa following a lock-down in coastal city and Nairobi due to Covid-19 pandemic.

Kemo had asked the court to issue a warrant of arrest for Wanjiku after rejecting Magolo’s submission that the suspect should be given time to recover before taking plea.

During the application for bond, Magolo claimed Nyoike was being victimised by EACC to stop him from ascending to KPA managing director job as he was among the front runners.

Magolo claimed Nyoike was investigated between 2014 and 2017 over the same offence and was cleared to go back to KPA.

“Your honour, it is politics of succession of the KPA top job and the EACC has allowed itself to be used to stop Nyoike from being in the race,” said Magolo.

But Kemo dismissed the claim and defended the EACC from the accusation insisting the investigators are not politicians.