Documents hitch derail Kidero’s Sh213 fraud suit

Former Nairobi Governor Evans Kidero
Former Nairobi Governor Evans Kidero in a Nairobi court on August 22, 2018, during the mention of a case where is facing abuse of office charges. PHOTO | PAUL WAWERU 

The trial of former Nairobi Governor Evans Kidero and six other officials hit a hitch on Thurday after it emerged that the prosecution was yet to supply the defence team with all the statements.

Appearing before senior principal magistrate Lawrence Mugambi, defence lawyers led by Tom Ojienda informed the court that they were yet to be receive witness statements and other documents.

Mr Mugambi directed the prosecution to supply the documents and appear before him on August 29.

Mr Kidero, together with other former senior officers in his administration have denied graft and abuse of office charges and are out on bond.

They include former County secretary Lilian Ndegwa, former chief finance officer Jimmy Mutuku Kiamba, former minister in charge of finance and planning Gregory Mwakanongo, former accounting head Stephen Ogago Osiro, former acting chief finance officer Luke Mugo and former acting head of treasury Maurice Ochieng Okere.

Others facing charges are John Githua and Grace Njeri of Lodwar Wholesalers Ltd and Ngurumani Traders Ltd.

The charges state that they conspired to commit fraud which led to the loss of Sh213,327,300 at the County Government between January 16, 2014 and January 25, 2016.

The officials allegedly authorised payment to various companies for services not rendered. Mr Kidero allegedly received a total of Sh24 million from Lodwar wholesalers Ltd, on diverse dates. He allegedly received Sh14 million on August 24, 2014 and Sh10 million on September 11, 2014.

Pre-trial of the case will be held on September 6.

Meanwhile the court heard that Grace Wakhungu, who is charged with fraud together with Sirisia MP John Koyi Waluke, is yet to be arrested.

Mr Waluke denied the charges. They are accused of defrauding the National Cereals and Produce Board (NCPB) almost a decade ago.

The two are accused of uttering a false document and fraudulent acquisition of public funds.

Being directors of a company, they allegedly presented a false invoice of $1,146,000 (Sh115,072,725) on February 24, 2009, as evidence in the arbitration dispute between the company and NCPB.