Another prime suspect in the National Youth Service (NYS) graft scam who implicated a lead investigator as being party to business deals he was investigating says his life is in danger following alleged death threats he links to the case.
NAIROBI, Kenya, January 23, 2020 – A prime suspect in NYS graft case, Phyllis Njeri Ngirita, wept in court uncontrollably at the Milimani Law Courts on Thursday, January 23, after she was told that she will have to wait for 17 days to know whether she will be allowed to withdraw KSh800, 000 from her frozen bank account, or not.
Njeri, through her lawyer, Evans Ondieki, had applied to be allowed to withdraw the said-amount, saying it was to be used in paying her son’s school fees. Njeri claims she owes her son’s school, Pembroke House School in Gilgil, KSh3.4 million in unpaid fees.
“I have been subjected to untold suffering since my KCB account in Gilgil was frozen in 2018,” said Njeri.
“The [freezing] order has caused undue hardship to my family and paralysed the education of my children,” Njeri said in her affidavit filed at the Milimani Law Courts on Thursday.
Her application was to be heard on Thursday, January 23, by Justice Mumbi Ngugi, but the judge pushed back the hearing date by two weeks after the Assets Recovery Agency (ARA) sought seven days to respond to Njeri’s application.
Justice Mumbi Ngugi directed that the case be heard on February 10, 2020.
Njeri, who owns Njewanga Enterprises, is accused of receiving money to the tune of millions of shillings for controversial NYS tenders that led to the loss of taxpayers’ money.
The suspect, who is out on bond, is also accused of deliberately avoiding to pay corporation tax amounting to Ksh20 million. Njeri was charged alongside her mother, Lucy Wambui, sister Anne Ngirita, and brother, Jeremiah Gichina.
Njeri says, in the application, that Pembroke House School has stated it won’t allow her son in school should she fail to pay his school fees amounting to Ksh3.4 million.
She claims the KSh800, 000 that is locked up at her bank “is the only money I have, and that I got it from a loan facility.”
Meanwhile a prime suspect in the National Youth Service (NYS) graft scam who implicated a lead investigator as being party to business deals he was investigating says his life is in danger following alleged death threats he links to the case.
Jeremiah Gichini Ngirita says on two occasions, while in Naivasha and Nairobi respectively, unknown callers, two females and a male have invited him to discussions, which he did not honour, on the matter and to settle a score with one Mike Julius Muia, a detective who has since been removed from the investigations after claims that he had dealings with the Ngirita family.
He has lodged a complaint at Naivasha Police Station and at the same time reported the matter to Independent Police Oversight Authority (IPOA) on July 3, 2019 after the alleged intimidation spiralled.
Gichini had sensationally linked the investigator to a business relationship and later a fallout and accused him of settling a personal score.
investigation, the investigator is a longtime family friend dating back to 2013 with whom, we shared many things among them business supply where Muia operated through proxy,” Gichini says in a statement.
The suspect, a member of the Naivasha-based Ngirita family that is at the centre of what has come to be called ‘NYS II’ graft wave probe, claimed the lead investigator, Mike Julius Kingoo Muia, was their partner in a company that traded with NYS.
He says his business partnership with the investigator can be affirmed through Equity Bank Gilgil A/C 0130261954816 “where most of the dues accrued from NYS supplies were deposited.”
“The officer has been using unknown mobile numbers, he has many times promised to make his threat real of teaching our family a lesson,” Gichini said. He says however, he agrees to pay Muia once he also get paid.
He said they knew things were not usual after Muia informed them they would not be paid even for the supplies that they made to NYS and “vowed to teach the Ngirita family a lesson using his position as a police officer.”
Gichini claims that Muia forced him to sign an affidavit alleging he was a business partner to his late father and whatever he was depositing in Muia’s account was money, which was owed to the deceased (Muia’s father).
The death threats come, separately, in the wake of an impending ruling on an impassioned appeal for variance of an order that had clamped the Ngirita family’s funds at Kenya Commercial Bank, Naivasha.
Phyllis Njeri Ngiritha is challenging the order on grounds that the money frozen at a KCB account in Nakuru has nothing to do with the case at hand and has made her son (a minor who cannot be named) to bear the brunt of an investigation he has nothing to do with.
“My application is limited to the payment of school fess for my aforementioned son and his maintenance expenses,” she states in court documents.
Njeri through her lawyer, says “the basic needs of her children cannot wait for the conclusion of the criminal cases.”
She adds that he son is not an accused person in any criminal case neither is he under any known investigation and he should not have to suffer because of “my aforementioned criminal cases.”
Initially a magistrate’s court had varied the freeze order before The Asset Recovery Agency made a successful appeal for reversal at the high court. The ruling is salted on December 9 2019.
She prays that the preservation order issued on February 12, 2019 be varied to “provide for reasonable living expenses for her dependants.”
Njeri’s son is a student at Pembroke House School and “is in urgent need for school fees.”
“The interested party has parental responsibility under Section (2) of the children’s Act, No 8 of 2001 to provide her children with education, medical care, nutrition, shelter and health care,” her affidavit filed the Milimani law courts reads.
She further states that the preservation order has deprived her of a means to provide for her reasonable living expenses why has caused her and her dependants undue hardship. The woman states in an affidavit that the school is owed a sum of KSh3,479,929 as accumulated unpaid school fees for the minor.
Njeri, Gichini and Ann Wambere Ngirita (s), alongside state officials who face abuse of office charges, are accused of receiving more than KSh100 million through their companies.
The companies involved in the probe are Annwaw Investment, Njewanga Investments, Arkroad Holdings Ltd, Kunjiwa Enterprises, Ameri Trade Ltd, Ngwiwaco Enterprises, Jerrycathy Enterprises, Firstling Supplies Ltd, Kalabash Food Supplies Ltd and Ersatz Enterprises. The accused have all pleaded not guilty.
Inspector Muia has since been removed from the case after the family raised the issue but all the evidence he gathered against the family was not dropped and which according to their lawyer is deeply prejudicial.
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