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Trader on the spot over theft of Sh28 million fertilizer

A trader has been charged with conspiring to steal over 5000 bags of subsidized fertilizer worth Sh27.8 million.

Eric Kiarie Ng’ang’a was charged before Milimani law courts senior resident magistrate Ben Mark Ekhubi with conspiring to steal 5,000 bags of 50kgs of subsidized fertilizer valued at Sh27,830,000.

Ng’ang’a who is jointly charged with seven others allegedly committed the offence on diverse dates between March 21 and April 27, 2023 at an unknown place within the Republic.

The seven others who were charged last week before chief magistrate Lucas Onyina alongside Ng’ang’a are Joseph Wamakau, Stanley Mumo, Martin Kioko, Beatrice Mwikali, Fredrick Gateri, Joseph Matheka and Anthony Kimuyu.

Ng’ang’a also faced other charges of stealing 1,120 bags of subsidized fertilizer on transit from the Port of Mombasa to National Cereal and Produce Board Depot at Kamwosor Depot in Rift valley valued over Sh9m.

Ng’ang’a has denied four counts of fraud and theft filed against him by the office of the Director of Public Prosecutions (ODPP).

The Prosecution alleges that the eight accused persons on diverse dates between March 21 and April 27,2023 conspired to steal 560 bags of 50 kilograms of subsidized fertilizer worth Sh 27,830,000 the property of Kenya government.

Kioko, Ng’ang’a, Mwikali, Gateri and Matheka were charged with stealing 560 bags of prilled urea subsidized fertilizer worth Sh 3,080,000 which was on transit from Mombasa to the NCPB Fort Tenant depot.

When the fertilizer disappeared it was being transported on Motor vehicle KCC 867 N trailer ZE 6330 make Renault prime mover.

The third count was against the same five accused persons where they denied theft of 560 bags of CAN 26 % N subsidized fertilizer valued at Sh3,080,000.

The fertilizer was being transported from Mombasa to NCPB Kericho deport.

Kimuyu was charged separately with stealing 560 prilled Urea subsidized fertilizer between Mombasa and Kamwosor NCPB Depot between April 20-24, 2023.

A defence lawyer David Ayuo applied for the accused to be freed on bond.

A state prosecutor Virginia Kariuki did not oppose the release of the suspect on bond saying other suspects charged last week before Onyina were freed on a bond of Sh600,000 with an alternative cash bail of Sh200,000.

Ms Kariuki said the accused was brought to court on a warrant of arrest.

Mr Ekhubi directed the case to be mentioned June 13 for pre-trial directions and also to be consolidated.

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