Whereabouts of student Felista Nyamathira who received Sh108m 'gift' unknown

Belgian businessman Marc De Mesel (right) with Felista Nyamathira Njoroge. [Courtesy]

The whereabouts of a college student at the centre of a Sh108 million gift probe remains unknown after she failed to present herself to detectives for her fingerprint to be taken.

Lawyer Walter Owaga who claims to represent Felista Nyamathira Njoroge told the court that she gave birth in Belgium last month and has not been able to travel to the country to present herself before the Director of Criminal Investigations (DCI) for identification.

Owaga’s revelation contradicted previous submission by lawyer Thomas Maosa who claimed that Ms Njoroge is in the country and that they have instructions to represent her in the case where the Asset Recovery Agency (ARA) is seeking to recover the money for being proceeds of crime.

The mystery over her whereabouts made Lady Justice Esther Maina to postpone the case for another 45 days to enable DCI establish the real identity of the lady said to be a student at Nairobi Technical Training Institute.

“Since one of the lawyers claims she is out of the country, the court will grant them another 45 days to present her for identification but if she doesn’t come then we will assume that she is not the one,” said Justice Maina. Justice Maina in February ordered the two lawyers to present the person they claimed to be Ms Njoroge before the DCI for her fingerprints to be taken to reveal her identity.

Whereas Mr Maosa told the court that Ms Njoroge is in the country and that they took her to ARA to record a statement, Mr Owaga stated that the student is out of the country and is expectant.

Both lawyers clashed in court on who has instructions to represent the lady and had filed separate submissions on her behalf which prompted the judge to issue the order that the real Ms Njoroge should present herself to the DCI for identification.

When the matter came up yesterday, Mr Owaga told the judge that they have not been able to present her because she delivered last month and cannot travel.

“She is currently in Belgium nursing her young child. We have not yet received information from her and the child’s father on the date she is likely to travel back to the country,” said Owaga.

The ARA is seeking to have Ms Njoroge’s money forfeited to the state over claims that she is engaged in international money laundering schemes with her Belgian boyfriend Marc De Mesel.

The agency said they suspect De Mesel is an international criminal who is using young Kenyan women including Ms Njoroge to cleanse the dirty money.

But Ms Njoroge in her response which was filed through Mr Maosa denied any involvement in financial misconduct and money laundering, and that she can explain how she obtained the millions from the Belgian businessman.

She accused ARA of painting her in bad light as a person engaged in economic crimes, and that their claims are speculative since they have not linked her to any form of corruption and money laundering.

Justice Maina directed that the case be mentioned on July 13 when the DCI will be expected to present a report on the identity of Ms Njoroge