, NAIROBI, Kenya, Jan 20 – Former Kenya Pipeline Company (KPC) Managing Director Shem Ochuodho was on Wednesday charged alongside three others with conspiring to defraud the firm of hundreds of million of shillings.
Mr Ochuodho, former KPC Board of Directors Chairman Maurice Dantas and directors of Triple A Capital Limited John Gichia Macharia and Janice Theresia Wanjiku are alleged that: “On diverse dates between the month of May 2003 and July 2004 in Nairobi, jointly with others not before court conspired to defraud KPC Sh0.8 billion by entering into a refinancing arrangement which required KPC to pay Triple A Capital credit charges amounting to the said amount on account of Triple A capital Ltd who were to pay KPC\\\’s international creditors amounts owed to them by KPC.”
Mr Ochuodho and Mr Dantas were also accused of fraudulently instructing the Standard Chartered Bank to pay Triple A Capital Ltd over Sh1.6 billion from KPC\\\’s account purporting the monies to be a refund on account of Triple A Capital A Limited alleging that the amount had been made to the said comnay on behalf of KPC to Export development Canada and Japan bank for international Co-operation.
The offences were allegedly committed between December 27 and 28, 2003.
The former KPC bosses were further accused that on December 29, 2003 they abused their respective offices by improperly conferring a benefit of over Sh132 million to Triple A Capital Limited by signing deeds of assignments of debts on behalf of Kenya Pipeline Company.
Mr Macharia and Ms Wanjiku were separately accused that on December 31 the same year, being directors of Triple A Company jointly fraudulently acquired Shs 1.6 billion by purporting that they had paid off debts owed by KPC to its creditors.
The creditors are Export Development Canada (EDC) and Japan Bank for International Co-operation (JBIC) under a refinance agreement, yet no such payments had been made by Triple A for and on behalf of KPC to the said firms.
Mr Macharia and Ms Wanjiku who plead to the charges when they were arraigned before chief magistrate Cecelia Githua denied the charges and were freed on Sh2 million cash bail and a bond of similar amount.
At the same time the magistrate issued summons against Mr Ochuodho and Mr Dantas requiring them to present themselves in court to answer to the charges. They are said to be out of the country.
The matter will now be mentioned on February 3 for purposes of taking hearing dates.
State counsel James Warui Mungai asked defense lawyers Cliff Ombetta and Singh Gitau to liaise with with the Kenya Anti-corruption Commission (KACC) investigating officer Soita Wasike to get copies and statements that the Commission intends to rely on during trial.
Meanwhile, a Nairobi lawyer now wants a case in which he is accused together with a High Court Judge and former National Security Fund (NSSF)Managing Trustee with conspiring to defraud the fund of Sh8 million terminated.
Advocate Stephen Kipkenda has been allowed by the court to institute judicial review proceedings to challenge the Kenya Anti-Corruption Commission criminal proceedings against him.
Through lawyer Phillip Nyachoti , the aggrieved advocate was given 21 days by Justice Jeanne Gacheche within which he should be in a position to file and serve his application to the respondents.
The judge certified the matter as urgent and directed that it be heard inter parties on February 3. He has named KACC, the Attorney -General and the Anti-Corruption Court as respondents.
The advocate is complaining that the action by KACC is malicious as the charges as presented relate to a brief handled by the law firm and not him as an individual.
The charges he further claims, have no legal basis and have violated the rules of natural justice as he was not afforded the opportunity to be heard or make representations before the decision was reached.
The applicant is challenging a case in which he has denied conspiring with Justice Juma Chitembwe and Racheal Lumbasyo to defraud NSSF Sh8,071,724 by ordering that M/s Kipkenda, Lilan& Advocates be paid for services allegedly rendered on or about July 7, 2008 in respect to five Kenyatta Avenue plots belonging to NSSF.
The decision by KACC, he further contends, has adversely affected him especially considering the negative publicity.
“It has generated and continues to lower his standing in the eyes of general members of the public and his professional colleagues,\\\’\\\’ his lawyer told justice Gacheche.
The advocate now wants the respondents prohibited from continuing to prosecute him pending the determination of the suit and an order compelling them to refund him within 21 days Sh0.5 million which he deposited in court as cash bail.
He is also seeking orders to quash the proceedings arguing that they are singularly meant to undermine his reputation and his status as a legal officer.