Hunter hunted as NYS graft detective fights to clear name

Milimani Law Courts
A suspect at Milimani Law Courts where he faced charges relating to theft of public funds at the NYS on June 4, 2018. PHOTO | EVANS HABIL 

He was among the busiest people when the National Youth Service (NYS) suspects appeared in court over the latest scandal at the institution.

He carried files, cleared the court to create room for the tens of suspects and even argued with lawyers as they disagreed on where they should sit. Chief inspector Mike Julius Kingoo Muia, the lead investigator in the Sh8 billion scam at the NYS also made sure that lawyers as well as the unrepresented suspects received copies of the charge sheet.

And when chief magistrate Douglas Ogoti directed that all the witness statements and all other documents the prosecution will rely on in the case, be supplied to the defence lawyers, Mr Muia gave out details of the office at the Directorate of Criminal Investigations headquarters where they would pick the documents.

His only request to the court, was for the magistrate to direct lawyers to come with photocopying papers.

And as all these transpired, no one knew that a few weeks after the suspects denied the charges, Mr Muia would turn the hunted. The officer is no longer part of the investigations at the moment. He is headed to Kiganjo for a five-month training as the case continues in court.

The officer will also be the focus of the trial after one of the suspects, Jeremiah Gichini Ngirita, made damning allegations against him.

On Tuesday, Mr Ogoti ordered the prison authorities protect Mr Gichini and other suspects he expressed fears over his safety.

Mr Gichini’s, whose company Jerrycathy Enterprises is accused of fraudulently receiving Sh72 million from the NYS, linked the lead investigator to his businesses.

“I direct that all the accused persons be accorded maximum security. Their fears should not be taken lightly,” said Mr Ogoti.

The suspect alleged in an affidavit that his company had been trading with NYS in partnership with Mr Muia since 2014. He said a few days before their arrest, he met Mr Muia with his two sisters at Rafiki Club on Lang’ata Road. The State has charged Mr Gichini, his sisters Ann Wanjiku Wambere Ngirita and Phyllis as well as his mother Lucy Wambui Ngirita with offenses linked to the NYS scandal.

Ann allegedly received Sh60 million from NYS through her company Annwaw, her mother’s company Waluko investments Sh59 million and Mr Gichini’s firm got Sh72 million.

Other companies that allegedly benefited yet they did not supply goods are Kunjiwa Enterprises and Ameri Trade that received Sh23 million and Sh28 million, respectively.

In the affidavit, Mr Gichini alleges that the officer asked them to proceed to at Ann’s house but they declined. He said it is Mr Muia who recorded Ann’s statement, an allegation the officer has denied. He added that the recording lasted from 9am to 3pm as they constantly disagreed because of the sexual advances he allegedly made on her.

“That it is suspicious that Mike Muia, the officer who I have all along been doing business with and has been making sexual advances to Ms Wambere is the current investigating officer,” he said in a sworn statement.

Mr Gichini admits that his company had been carrying out renovations and supplies to NYS. He said he had also been doing the business with Mr Muia and made several payments through the officer’s bank account.

He further stated that Mr Muia vowed to fight his family using his position after their relationship went sour.

Mr Muia denied the claims in an affidavit, saying he has never done business with the NYS. He has, however, acknowledged that they are friends. He said the Sh820,000 Mr Gichini deposited to his account was a debt.

The officer said he knew Mr Gichini through a Sammy Kioko, a businessman in Naivasha. “As friends, we could borrow money from one another and which Ngirita (Gichini) would give me cheques after a period, which we had agreed,” he said.

He said he on October 21, 2016, Mr Kioko paid him Sh820,000, which he owed him in the presence of Mr Gichini. The three, he said, deposited the cash at the Co-operative Bank in Gilgil but Mr Gichini retained the receipt in his vehicle.

“I have never done business with NYS either in person or through a proxy but only went there for investigations,” he said.

Mr Muia said when he found out that Mr Gichini was being investigated, he declared it to the investigating team but they told him to proceed with the matter.

Mr Muia further alleged Mr Gichini issued various cheques, which bounced and that the DCI is handling cases.