NAIROBI, Kenya, Sep 22 – A former Insurance Company East Africa (ICEA) employee was Monday handed down a nine-year jail term without an option of a fine for stealing more than Sh62.7 million from his employer through the collapsed Nyaga Stockbrokers between 2003 and 2005.
Milimani Law Courts Chief Magistrate Francis Andayi rejected a probation officers’ proposal to hand down a non-custodial sentence to Lincolin Kivuti Njeru saying the amount lost was colossal.
Njeru, a former ICEA manager, stole the money which came to his possession by virtue of his position as an investment manager.
The magistrate dismissed the convicts’ defence that “it was an investment loss.”
Andayi said from the audit reports, evidence by the prosecution and the chain of cash transactions, it is clear Njeru stole the millions.
Njeru, 58, received the Sh62.7 million through Nyaga stockbrokers for sale of ICEA share investments and channeled the proceeds to his personal accounts.
Njeru admitted to the Probation Officer that he stole the money due to ‘youthful greed and ambitions.’
The monies were to be wired to the insurance firm’s accounts, but Njeru said the cash got lost through erosion of share value at the Nairobi bourse.
“From the totality of evidence presented by the prosecution the losses experienced by ICEA were correctly linked to the accused person and not as investment losses as he purported,” Andayi stated in his sentence.
The magistrate said the accused could not explain the source of the millions of shillings he held in his bank accounts.
Andayi ruled that Njeru was guilty of stealing Sh62,704,835.60 from ICEA.
The court said the money deposited in the accounts of ICEA were withdrawn and deposited into Njeru’s the personal account.
The offence took place between January 17, 2003 and September 20, 2005.
Through defence lawyer Stanley Kang’ahi, Njeru pleaded for mercy saying he has been out of employment for the last 12 years and that he is the sole bread winner for his family.
Kang’ahi asked the magistrate to give the accused a second chance to redeem his life and continue serving his family as he is remorseful and regrets the loss.
He pleaded for a non-custodial sentence but the prosecuting counsel, Angela Fuchaka, called for a custodial sentence saying: “it will be a lesson for t officers bent to wasting institutions’ funds for personal gain.”
Andayi gave the accused 14 days to appeal against the sentence. He will serve a total of nine years for the three offences filed against him.