The case against NYS suspects could be the biggest acid test for Kenya and a ruthless warning as Prosecution lawyers have vowed to seek maximum penalties and confiscate assets without mercy on those implicated in the NYS corruption scandal as the hearing of the case kicks off .
The Director of Public Prosecutions is said to have laid out a tight case against the suspects accused of defrauding the National Youth Service.
DPP Noordin Haji, in a statement read by Assistant DPP Vera Hamisi, said he would demonstrate to the court that the 33 suspects had in one way or another participated in the scam.
According to the DPP, at least Sh8 billion was siphoned from the NYS coffers. Three firms – Ersatz Enterprises, Arkroad Holdings and Kalabash Food Supplies – are at the heart of the case.Image result for DPP Noordin Haji
“This case is against obscure but ruthless fly-by-night briefcase companies or business entities which swooped away a massive Sh60.5 million, being just a tip of the Sh8 billion siphoned from NYS,” said Mr Haji. “The prosecution shall demonstrate that the acts and omissions were not just negligent but well-calculated schemes to siphon public funds.”
Khamisi said the Ksh.60 million is just a tip of the Ksh.8 billion which was siphoned from the National Youth Service coffers for goods not delivered with the assistance of the accused persons who were public officers in the State Department of Public Service and Youth.
Similarly, the court was told that the fraud was well orchestrated and meticulously planned by former senior and junior employees of the NYS, the Ministry of Public Service, Youth and Gender Affairs as well as unscrupulous characters fronting as genuine entrepreneurs who allegedly supplied goods to the NYS with the sole aim of embezzling millions of shillings out of NYS.
“The fraud was conceived that this money be paid out and all the accused persons were to be enablers of the payments hence the conspiracy to defraud,” court was told.
Former principal secretary Lilian Omollo, former NYS director general Richard Ndubai and 31 others are the suspects in the case.
But in their rebuttal, defence lawyers Stephen Ligunya and Migos Ogamba told Milimani Magistrate Peter Ooko that the DPP did not have evidence to nail the suspects, adding that the charges brought against their clients were “generalised, amorphous and incapable of securing a conviction”.
“Her (Omollo) presence in this matter is the consequent effect of an overzealous prosecution and the Office of the DPP exercising that which can only be compared to dragnet trolling with an intent of catching anything and everything at the bottom of the sea,” said Mr Ligunya.Image result for Ms Omollo and Mr Ndubai
The two lawyers said they would demonstrate to the court that Ms Omollo and Mr Ndubai installed mechanisms that saved the NYS Sh2.2 billion.
Haji, however, said he would prove that the suspects created fictitious pending bills and also manipulated the Integrated Financial Management Information System (Ifmis) to enable them to loot the money.