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Planning PS Peter Mangiti, NYS Director-General Nelson Githinji charged over scam

By Peace Loise Mbae | November 19th 2015
Planning Principal Secretary Peter Mangiti (right) and National Youth Service (NYS) Director-General Nelson Githinji (second right) at the Milimani Law Courts with their co-accused. They were released on Sh20 million bond with an alternative of a cash bail of Sh3 million each. [PHOTO: GEORGE NJUNGE/STANDARD]

Two top Government officials have been charged with threatening an officer to cover up the Sh695 million scandal at the National Youth Service (NYS).

But Planning Principal Secretary Peter Mangiti and NYS Director-General Nelson Githinji yesterday denied the charges before Nairobi Principal Magistrate Daniel Ogembo and were released on Sh20 million bond with an alternative of a cash bail of Sh3 million each.

According to the charge sheet, the two attempted to induce NYS Senior Deputy Director General in charge of Administration Adan Gedow to fail in his duty by dissuading, threatening and intimidating him with consequences should he continue following up the matter relating to the conspiracy to steal the said amount.

Defence Counsel Kioko Kilukumi told the court the charges against the duo were not recognised by law.

“Your honour, I would like to make a notice before court that the charges against my two clients are not legal. I will make an application against the same at a later stage of the case,” he said. Mr Mangiti and Mr Githinji were charged alongside 24 other NYS officials, although 12 appeared to take plea.

They all pleaded not guilty to conspiracy to defraud, stealing and engaging in organised criminal activity charges and were released on similar terms.

Mr Ogembo said he considered the seriousness of the offence and the law while setting the terms.

“The terms should not be so low that the accused should abscond or too high that they cannot afford. I have also considered the amounts involved in the loss of public funds which are very high,” he said.

The charge sheet shows the accused, among them accountants, finance officers, store keeper and audit officer, facilitated fraudulent payments amounting to Sh791 million.

The crimes are said to have occurred between December 1, last year and June 5, this year.

Prosecution counsel Alloys Kemo had earlier requested the plea be deferred on grounds that some suspects were not in court and to give them time to take fingerprints for more investigation.

But the defence rejected the application, terming it as time wasting.

Ogembo ordered those present in court to take plea and that the rest present themselves for the same at any date. The case will be mentioned on November 24.

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