Nairobi security firm owners spared forgery charge

The National Social Security Fund (NSSF) in Nairobi. FILE PHOPTO | NMG
The National Social Security Fund (NSSF) in Nairobi. FILE PHOPTO | NMG 

The owners of Lavington Security Limited have been spared criminal proceedings commenced against them after their firm was accused of using forged documents to bid for a National Social Security Fund (NSSF) tender.

Justice George Odunga ruled that the police and Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) hastily charged Pius Kiprop Chelimo and Jonah Kiprotich Telo before investigations into the allegations of forgery were complete.

The duo was charged with forging an NSSF compliance certificate, which their firm had submitted for the tender. The tender was for the provision of security services to several NSSF properties.

Mr Chelimo and Mr Telo told Justice Odunga that they had obtained the NSSF compliance certificate legally and that Lavington Security had instituted civil proceedings against the State-run fund following the compliance certificate debacle.

They added that their prosecution was at the behest of the NSSF to punish them for instituting civil proceedings against the pension scheme.

“In this case, the DPP and DCI seem to be hoping that even after the conclusion of the investigations they will still have material upon which they will be able to mount a prosecutable case. In other words, their current decision is informed by the future course of events.”

“To me, that cannot be said to be an exercise of discretion in good faith. A prosecution that is based on results of futuristic investigation cannot be permitted to go on. It is, therefore, my view that the said criminal proceedings cannot be allowed to proceed,” Mr Justice Odunga ruled.

The DCI in its response held that investigations had so far revealed that the NSSF compliance certificates used by Lavington Security for the tender bid had forged signatures.

The DCI added that investigations were still ongoing and that the charge sheets in the criminal case against Mr Chelimo and Mr Telo may be amended after investigations are complete.

But Mr Chelimo and Mr Telo argued that it was strange that Lavington Security, a separate legal entity, had not been charged yet it was the one facing accusations of forgery.