NAIROBI, Kenya, Nov 28 – Former National Youth Service Deputy Director-General Adan Harakhe and ex-tender committee chairman at the Ministry of Devolution Hassan Noor have denied colluding to defraud the NYS together with 22 others.
Appearing before Chief Magistrate Alex Kombe at the Milimani Anti-Corruption Court shortly after being arrested by detectives from the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission, the two pleaded not guilty to the charges as they sought orders to have the arrest warrants issued against them suspended.
Harakhe denied charges of improperly authorizing the payment of over Sh47 million to Blue Star Enterprises in blatant violation of procurement procedures with his co-accused Noor distancing himself from accusations of willful failure to comply with procurement laws as set out in the Anti-Corruption and Economic Crimes Act.
Defending the two for failure to appear in court on Friday alongside 22 others also charged for loss of funds at the NYS, defense lawyer Ahmednasir Abdullahi dismissed claims that the two violated summons to appear before the court last week, urging the court to dismiss the warrants of arrest issued against the two.
“There’s no evidence you honour that the two accused persons have any chance of absconding from trial – there’s no reason for them abscond,’ he said adding: “They will dutifully attend trial.”
According to the prosecuting counsel Joseph Irungu, failure by the two to honour court summons could jeopardize conclusion of the case facing them which has attracted the attention of the public since coming to light.
Irungu did not however object to a plea for the court to release Harakhe and Noor on bond, saying it was up to the court to consider the matter.
While giving a ruling on the request for bail, Kombe ordered the suspension of warrants of arrest against the two, granting them a bond of Sh3 million each and a surety of similar amount with an option of a Sh1 million cash bail pending hearing.
The two are accused alongside former Planning Principal Secretary Peter Mangiti who was charged last week with conspiring to defraud the government of Sh47 million.
Sixteen of the 24 accused who were present in court Friday denied the charges and were released on cash bail terms ranging from Sh250,000 to Sh1 million with the most severe falling on Mangiti who is facing several counts including abuse of office as is Harakhe.
Mangiti is already facing charges in relation to the siphoning of Sh791 million from the National Youth Service.