NAIROBI, Kenya, Jun 22 – A businessman was on Wednesday charged with conspiracy to steal over Sh24 million from the National Youth Service (NYS).
Patrick Odhiambo Owino who appeared before Milimani Senior Principal Magistrate Charity Oluoch denied seven counts of conspiracy to steal and was ordered to deposit a Sh1 million cash bail with an alternative of Sh5 million bond with a surety of similar amount.
Owino jointly with others not before the court are said to have conspired to commit the offence on various dates between June and August last year.
State counsel Eddie Kadebe however was quick to point out that the prosecution was not opposed to Owino’s release on bail but urged the court to take into consideration the amount of money involved in the alleged scheme to defraud the government, as a matter of national interest.
“As much as the accused enjoys presumption of innocence until proven guilty, this court should not turn a blind eye on colossal sums of money stolen generally and those specifically reflected in the charge sheet,” Kadebe argued.
Owino’s lawyer Samuel Aduda pleaded with the court to release his client on affordable bond terms.
“The court should not be swayed by the huge sums alleged to have been stolen. The accused is charged separately from the rest of the cases that are already pending in court,” Aduda said.
Aduda said his client is entitled to be released on bond which is his constitutional right pending the hearing and determination of the case.
Owino is also facing other charges where he is accused of forging requisition forms for purchases addressed to the Managing Director, Heidel Generators Limited claiming they were issued by NYS.
On a separate count, the businessman is also accused of further making two machines inspection reports on August 7, 2015 pretending that they had been prepared and compiled by NYS officials.