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Twelve deny Sh166 million NIS Sacco fraud

By Richard Munguti September 27th, 2023 2 min read

Twelve suspects including a National Intelligence Service (NIS)  officer linked to the mysterious disappearance of Sh166 million belonging to the National Intelligence Services Sacco have been charged before the Kahawa Law Courts.

The suspects who appeared before Senior Principal Magistrate Boaz Maura Obwewa pleaded to 223 charges filed against them by the office of the Director of Public Prosecutions.

The accused answered the charges after the magistrate declined their application to defer plea on grounds the ‘charges as drawn were defective’.

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While permitting the charges, the magistrate noted they were properly drawn ‘and have met all legal requirements’.

The court dismissed the plea deferral saying the application by the defense is ‘far-fetched and unmerritted’.

The suspects had challenged the astounding 57-page charge sheet presented to the court by the DPP containing over 200 counts against the suspects.

The senior officials charged over the fraud are Amos Kipchumba who is the Sacco’s internal auditor, loans manager Violet Wali, accountant Caren Langat, system analysts Hamisi Zaunga and Miriam Nthenya, and Moses Ntoinya, a NIS officer.

Others are Nicodemus Osiemo, Eric Rono from Sure-step Systems, and Tony Wabomba, a former employee of the Sacco Society.

The twelve suspects through their lawyers led by Danstan Omari objected to the charge sheet as framed by the DPP claiming it to be defective.

Omari said the prosecution’s move to frame over 200 counts against the suspects is meant to embarrass and humiliate their clients.

“Before you is a charge sheet with cumulative 223 counts its unprecedented and history-making that’s why we are asking if a charge sheet can carry that large amount of charges,” Omari said.

Omari argued it was humanly impossible to answer the charges and even the defense will have a hard time preparing for the case.

“This is the first time that NIS officers are taking plea in this country and also the courts have pronounced themselves that a charge sheet can only have 12 counts,” Omari said.

He accused the prosecution of going on a fishing expedition by bringing over 200 counts so that if they missed a conviction in the others, they get even one.

The state prosecutor urged the court to dismiss the plea deferral request and compel the twelve to plead to the charges.

The prosecution of employees of NIS Sacco known as Njiwa Sacco were arrested on Friday last week by DCI detectives following comprehensive joint investigations, conducted by detectives and officials from the spy agency.

According to the charge sheet filed in court, the twelve suspects are accused that on diverse dates between January 1, 2018, and March 31, 2023, within Nairobi County jointly with others not before the court, conspired to steal from Njwa Sacco Limited Sh 106,549,379. the property of Njwa Socco.

The NIS Officer Ntoinya is charged that on diverse dates between January 1, 2018, and March 31, 2023 at Njiwa Sacco in Nairobi county stole Sh 8,755,800 the property of Njiwa Sacco.

Jepkemoi was charged that she stole Sh 3,442,695.

Wambomba is accused of stealing Sh 2,123,688.

Masea, Kipchumba, Chebet, Mberia, Wali, and Zangu were together being employees of Njiwa Sacco with intent to defraud made false entries in the books of account belonging to Njiwa Sacco Limited purporting to show that members had genuinely made withdrawal transactions of Sh 166,549,379.

By the time of going to press, the defense lawyer was working to have the suspects be released on bond.