Tharaka Nithi Governor Muthomi Njuki freed on a Ksh.6M cash bail
Tharaka Nithi Governor Muthomi Njuki has been freed on a Ksh.6million cash bail by a Nairobi Court after denying Ksh.34.9M graft charges.
He has also been barred from accessing his office until the graft case is heard and determined.
The governor will also be required to deposit his passport with the court and has been forbidden from making contact with any of the witnesses.
Earlier on Wednesday, the media had been barred from accessing the courtroom where the bail hearing was ongoing
On Tuesday, Governor Njuki pleaded not guilty to 15 counts, among them abuse of office, willful failure to comply with laws and money laundering.
He had surrendered on Monday morning and arrived at the Ethics and Anti-corruption Commission(EACC) Intergrity House headquarters for processing.
The latest came just days after the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) Noordin Haji ordered his arrest over the irregular award of a Ksh.34M tender.
According to the DPP, Westomaxx Investments Limited, a company that had submitted fraudulent documents, was awarded the tender at a cost of Ksh.34,998,500.00.
A contract for the supply, installation and commissioning of an incinerator was hence entered into between the Chief Officer Environment, Fridah Muthoni, and Westomaxx Investments Limited and the contractor issued with an LPO before the expiry of 14 days following the giving of a notification contrary to the Public Procurement and Asset Disposal Act, 2015.
Westomaxx Investments Limited then installed an incinerator they had procured from Generation Electronic & Allied Company Limited, a company which – as stated by the DPP – is associated with Governor Njuki.
Generation Electronic & Allied Co. Ltd had reportedly imported the generator to Kenya at a cost of Ksh.3, 879, 945.30.
“The fraud at the County, Government was perpetrated by the county officials at the Procurement Department and Finance Department who disregarded the procurement laws and procedures,” said DPP Haji.
“Due to the fraud involved in winning the tender, Westomaxx Investments Limited fraudulently acquired the said amount of Kshs 34,998,500.00 from the County Government of Tharaka Nithi.”
The audit trail of the monies paid to Westomaxx Investments Limited by the Tharaka Nithi County Government reportedly revealed that it was wired to; Japhet Gitonga Nyange (Ksh. 8.7 million), Kenneth Mucuiya Ngai (Ksh. 5.2 million), Kenstar Electrical and Hardware Limited (Ksh. 4.7 million), and Caroline Sheila Wimbui (Ksh. 0.985 million).
“The project was procured, implemented and commissioned without an Environmental Impact Assessment and before being licensed by the National Environment Management Authority (NEMA),” the DPP added.